Does Being Athletic Improve your Intelligence?

Do you believe that being athletic improve your intelligence?         

In televisions and social media sites, there are two kinds of popular kids: the smart kid and the sporty kid.

But what if we mix up both?

Nowadays, teens are so engaged in different types of individual and team sports. The captive power of sports amongst teens and youngsters is surreal!

Some parents do worry that their children’s extracurricular activities may affect their schoolwork.  Many parents sometimes fear about the possible risk of sport-related injuries,  burnout, psychosocial problems for their kids.

Engaging in physical activities can make a person smarter

However, various studies show that taking on and participating in physical actions can make a person smarter.


According to a study published in Scientific Reports, professional athletes have better skills when it comes to tracking multiple objects at the same time. They display incredible hand-eye coordination too.

Researchers measured this by using virtual balls that represent the players moving in a three-dimensional space on a computer screen. This task simulates the ability to track multiple things all at once.

The result showed that professional athletes fared way better than the other group participants in the study. No doubt, professional athletes can easily keep track these things as they experience it in actual life almost every day in the sports fields.

Benefits of sports on several brain functions

Scientists have studied the benefits of sports on several brain functions, which includes the executive function skills. These skills are being controlled by an area of the brain called frontal lobe. The left brain’s project management controls scheduling or managing time.

Efficient time management is an essential trait for someone who indulges in sports as time is of the essence for all athletes. It also enables you to set priorities within a specific time.


Chess can develop a player’s time management skills since every chess move corresponds to a specific time. A player of chess is required to make a decisive move in a very complicated situation and keep cool under the pressure of time.

The executive function skills also help in resisting impulsive actions or responses. In any sports activity, for instance,  one must refrain from verbalizing cuss words or doing lousy things.

Uttering brief remarks could lead your team to punishment and worse disqualification. Doing the wrong thing could likewise guide you and your team to failure.

Executive function skills also aid in planning and focusing attention as well as juggling multiple tasks successfully.


In sports, the focus is always looked-for. If an athlete is absent-minded, it may result in an injury. That is why all athletes have sharp focus.

If you are on a team, it is very important that you stay focus and organize. Without it, a play can be messed up, and it will wreak havoc on everyone in the group. Through competitive sports, the executive function skills are utilized and enhanced.

 Depending on what position a footballer plays in, you must have special skills. For instance, the archetypal target man playing up front needs excellent heading skills, touch, and vision (the ability to pre-empt the play and make the right decision).

On the other hand, a defender, however, needs excellent tackling skills, aerial skills and the ability to emerge from tight and mind-boggling situations in possession of the football. Football teaches the value of being cooperative that each player blends well with the team.

Sports can also help one’s visual selective attention. In layman’s terms, it is the ability to identify an object as essential and track it.

In baseball, a player can see a flying baseball and visually track its movement so you can get hold of the ball and catch it.

Similarly, in basketball, it takes a lot of focus, quick and critical thinking to do an overhead pass or a wraparound pass efficiently.

Table tennis requires a player to out-think one’s opponent quickly. Given the close to the 100mph speed of the ball and short distance involved, you need to be thinking straight all the time. Mentally reading the spin of the ball coming at you is exceptionally complex.

To be good in martial arts,  you need to have precise movement, balance, and body control, timing and flexibility.

Inhibitory control is the ability to screen out irrelevant noise in the environment and to focus on what is essential, such as coach’s verbal instructions. It is the ability to overcome distractions and stay focused.

In any given sport, players have their legion of supporters and fans. Sports followers can be pretty noisy during a game in a stadium or gymnasium. But athletes can screen out these voices and listen to what the commentators are saying or what the coach is instructing. Distractions are common in sports, but an athlete can block it out quickly.


Last off, is proprioception. Proprioception is the medical term that describes the ability to sense the orientation of your body in your environment. Being aware that you are raising your arm above one’s head, even when you are closing your eyes, is an example of proprioception.

Through sports involvement, proprioception is highly useful.

Whatever sport your child takes,  parents, do not need to worry much.

They are linking physical fitness to brain vitality. Sports activities improve cognitive function throughout a person’s life. No doubt that sports are very beneficial physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.

Thus, engaging in any sport can help your kid to become smarter and brighter as well.  You can improve these traits over time, parents and stakeholders need to be supportive and reliable. Indeed, adults should facilitate the development of a child’s executive function skills.

Pay attention parents,- playing more than one game does not hurt a child. Instead, it may lead to a more significant quantity of good traits and executive function skills acquired.

Sir Ian McGeechan, in his autobiography Lion Man, cites a study that looked at the players in key decision making positions in professional sport.

The study revealed that many of players had played a wide range of sports to a high level as teenagers before specializing in their chosen field. In other words, playing a game can make you smarter and keep you that way.

The love of sports will undoubtedly pave the way for young athletes to hone their technical, skills, develop their endurance and stamina,  and immensely improve their mental abilities.


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