Winning on the Field and in the Classroom
Scientists have found that physical activity impacts cognitive development. Blood flow increases during exercise, both to active parts of the body and throughout parts of the cortex. This greater blood flow improves brain function. Further, exercise increases neural activity in the brain, increasing attention span to facilitate learning.
Athletics are a key part of life at Army and Navy Academy. Each Cadet participates in some form of physical activity each day, whether it’s on an organized team, an individual sport, specialized physical education, or working on strength and conditioning. These activities keep Cadets active and their brains alert so they excel on the field and in the classroom.
Several studies have found a correlation between participation in physical activity and higher academic scores, including G.P.A. and test results. These studies show that the effects of frequent exercise are long-term. A notable French study tracked the physical activity of middle school students. Not only did the G.P.A. outcomes of the more active students improve immediately, but the results were maintained when the researchers followed up four years later.
It is clear that our physically active Cadets are very successful academically – just take a look at our recent college matriculation to see for yourself. Many Cadets see a significant G.P.A. increase throughout their time at the Academy. Of course, much of this is due to our dedicated teachers and academic supports, but athletic participation also plays a role.
Personal Satisfaction and School Pride
Research by the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found a positive correlation between physical activity and mental health, including emotional wellness, self-confidence, and positive expectations for the future. Furthermore, participation in sports is linked to greater satisfaction in a student’s experience at school, leading to lower dropout rates.
Warrior Pride is evident as soon as one steps on to the Army and Navy Academy campus, and our scholar-athletes are always present at sporting events to cheer on their fellow Cadets. Our Athletic Director and his coaching staff work hard to ensure that each Cadet’s athletic experience positively contributes to his intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development, leading to increased confidence and academic achievement.
The athletic success of our Cadets has given many of them the opportunity to continue competition in their sport of choice at the college level, giving our current Cadets a sense of pride and goals for the future.
Army Navy Cadets are known for excellence academically and athletically. Our dedicated teachers and coaches work together to ensure that Cadets have a well-rounded experience, becoming successful intellectuals, athletes, and young men of good character.
Trudeau, François and Shephard, Roy J. (2008). Relationships of Physical Activity to Brain Health and the Academic Performance of Schoolchildren.American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 5:5-10.