4 min read

How State Associations Empower Students with High School Activities

How State Associations Empower Students with High School Activities

Did you know October is National High School Activities Month? That’s right - the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS), along with partner associations and member schools, are celebrating high school athletics and activities by promoting the benefits they bring to participants and communities nationwide.

High school activities provide invaluable life lessons and experiences for students. At the school level, you will find highly dedicated teachers and administrators who are passionate about enriching the lives of students with interscholastic programs. At the state level, high school associations play an integral role in managing successful activity programs for millions of students each and every year.

On the athletics side, state associations organize championship events in more than 20 varsity sports, oversee rules and regulations, and help maintain athlete eligibility. State associations are also committed to enhancing performing arts programs throughout the country by improving visibility, participation, and access.

State associations also implement and monitor accountability for leadership on school campuses. Schools depend on state associations to help organize competitions between them and to help provide opportunities for students, such as playoff tournaments, debate competitions, and theatre productions.

Closely aligned with the NFHS and the official partner of 39 of its member state associations, GoFan has built strong relationships with these outstanding organizations and has seen firsthand their dedication to supporting school athletics and activities. The GoFan team is proud to play a role in elevating school events and bringing communities together to celebrate the accomplishments of students throughout the country.

High school athletics and activities foster values and lessons that benefit students for a lifetime. Together, state associations and schools make these experiences possible for students.

Top 7 Lessons from High School Activities

  1. Leadership Skills

    High school sports, fine arts, and activities help shape the leaders of our future. Many of today’s esteemed leaders participated in activities in high school. Athletics and activities are an integral part of the high school experience and provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills outside the classroom.

    Whether students are practicing for football playoffs or rehearsing their halftime routine, they must learn to plan, prepare, and perform under pressure - often while guiding and encouraging their peers. Students who excel in athletics and activities often thrive in leadership roles throughout their careers.

  2. Teamwork to Achieve a Common Goal

    Teamwork is absolutely essential to success. For many, the importance of teamwork is often introduced in high school, whether it’s on the field or on the stage. Athletics and activities teach students to play by the rules, respect authority, value their commitments, and work together to achieve a common goal.

    A theatre production takes so much more than a talented leading actor or actress in order to be a success. All the supporting cast and crew must collaborate to put on an unforgettable show. A star player on the basketball team doesn’t win the game alone, either. The entire team must work together during practices, drills, and games in order to win. Students who participate in team activities learn how to collaborate and hold themselves accountable - skills that are applicable to their professional and personal lives long after graduation.

  3. Respect for Opponents and Teammates

    Respect allows people to get along with one another. High school activities are filled with opportunities to learn how to show and accept respect appropriately. Where else would high school students learn about competition, free enterprise, or morals? What about values and how to succeed in our society?

    Respect for coaches, officials, opponents, and other spectators is necessary at all levels of athletics and activity programs. In fact, it is required by school and event rules. State associations and schools alike require students to be respectful and follow the code of conduct in order to participate in athletics and activities.

  4. Sportsmanship Regardless of the Outcome

    Sportsmanship is defined as fair and generous behavior or treatment of others, especially in a sports contest. Losing can be challenging. Winning can be thrilling. Either way, school activities prepare participants and viewers for the realities of everyday life. 

    Learning sportsmanship in school by way of a disappointing loss or less-than-stellar performance helps create strong adults who will behave with dignity. On the other hand, it’s just as important to celebrate victories respectfully and to be considerate when things are going well. Win or lose, students learn to conduct themselves with honor and sportsmanship through high school activities.

  5. Education Beyond the Classroom

    Students who participate in high school activities have ample learning opportunities that supplement their curriculum. Athletics and activities require lots of planning, skill development, and group collaboration to prepare for events.

    Speech and debate students learn techniques to research thoroughly, memorize talking points, coach others, accept constructive criticism, and articulate complex ideas clearly. These skills can benefit students later in life as they enter the workforce and prepare for interviews, presentations, and collaborative projects.

    Student-athletes learn ways to strategize for games, analyze opponents, refine skills, and remain motivated to compete to overcome challenges. These lessons can translate to other important areas of everyday life as well.

  6. Overcoming Adversity

    High school activities can help students gain confidence by winning competitions, but they can arguably teach even more when students are faced with challenges and disappointments. The lessons taught in school activities are nearly impossible to replicate later in life.

    The fact is that losing a high school volleyball match can be painful but not nearly as significant as unexpectedly losing a job or even losing a loved one in adult life. The willingness to persevere when faced with setbacks can help students overcome adversity in other areas of their lives. Students who participate in school activities also have another support system of people to help them navigate difficult personal circumstances.

  7. Working with Mentors

    Coaches, directors, and teachers go above and beyond to mentor students in high school activities. Aside from running rehearsals and practices, mentors support their students and conduct themselves with grace, empathy, and sportsmanship.

    Good role models are more important than ever. School activities provide ways for students to interact with mentors who can be positive influences throughout their lives.

High school activities provide truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences and invaluable lessons. Under the direction of devoted educators, administrators, and state associations, interscholastic activity programs continue to thrive and enrich the lives of students nationwide.

You can help support high school activities in your community by attending athletic events, along with theatre productions, concerts, speech and debate competitions, and more. Together, we can celebrate the opportunities and achievements of students throughout National High School Activities month and beyond.

Next Steps

To learn more about National High School Activities Month, visit NFHS.org or follow the NFHS on Twitter and Instagram at @nfhs_org. 

The GoFan team will also be publishing more blogs and content over the next few weeks to celebrate. You can stay up to date on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn at @GoFanHS or contact us for more information

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