The Jocks of Life


Last Updated: Jul 26, 2011

According to a study by economists, if you participate in a sports program in school, you are more likely to be more successful in life.

You know those guys that play on the football team that smash you into the lockers at recess?

Of course you do. Is your only comeback that the popular jocks will become losers later in life—that they will become fat and bald, and that they won’t be able to date the cheerleaders anymore?

Well, turns out you’re wrong.

According to a study by economists John M. Barron and Glen R. Waddell of Purdue University and Bradley T. Ewing of Texas Tech University, if you participate in a sports program in school, you are more likely to be more successful in life.

If you play sports as a kid, you will earn more money, stay in school longer, and participate more in your community.

Another study by Ewing found that athletes have a better edge over other classmates who were in band, theater or even student government council. When SAT scores, GPAs were equal, jocks seem to do better.

A 2006 study, “found that athletes are 15% more likely to be registered to vote, 14% more likely to watch the news, and 8% more likely to feel comfortable speaking in public (and, for public speaking, the effect on females is twice as large).”

The studies don’t tell us why. Maybe it’s because athletes seem to be team players. Maybe being part of a team, teaches them how to get along with others—which is a key skill for real life. Maybe, playing sports instils school spirit, which makes them stay in school. Or maybe school is as much about learning how to socialize as it is about academics—and sport teams provide that outlet.

Or maybe just maybe, our worst fears are true. Jocks succeed through intimidation.

Whatever the case, if someone pushes you into a locker . . . you may want to punch back. OK, we are only joking. But staying active now might be your ticket to success.

Article courtesy of

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