Source: National Federation of State High Schools Association
Here’s a good story for coaches who are looking to establish a culture of volunteerism within their programs. The NFHS drafted the four benefits to participating in community service.
Health Benefits: A report by the Corporation for National & Community Service titled “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research” suggested that there is a relationship between volunteering and good health. In fact, it states that “those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.”
Team Building: As teams work together to complete projects, they get to spend time working toward a common goal outside of their particular sport. These projects allow the student-athletes to interact with their coaches and teammates in a different environment than they are used to and can gain a sense of achievement as a group. These outings can go a long way toward building team chemistry and a sense of commitment to the other participants, which can pay huge dividends throughout the season.
Leadership and Skills Growth: Community service projects give each individual a chance to rise to the occasion and assist others. Often during these projects, athletes can demonstrate and develop leadership ability even if that is not normally their role within the team. Volunteers also have a chance to showcase their talents outside of the given sport they are playing. Inevitably, there will also be some challenges when performing community service that allows for team members to work on problem-solving as a team.
Positive Publicity: Although publicity and recognition should not be the main impetus behind community service, it is often an outcome of giving back to the community. Community service projects help to build awareness and community trust. By doing a good job with community service projects, teams can have a direct impact on how members of the surrounding community view their school.
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