Childhood Sports And Creativity


Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin College of Education found that the kind of sport participation that you are involved in during childhood influences your level of creativity later in life.

Assistant Professor Matt Bowers found a significant negative relationship between overall creativity and hours spent playing organized sports. He also found a significant positive relationship between overall creativity and hours spent on unstructured sport activities.

The study conducted consisted of 99 students who were in their upper-division undergraduate and graduate students. The students ages ranged from 19 to 33. To determine the link between organized sports and creativity researchers used two instruments to measure the data collected. The instruments used are Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA) and a childhood leisure activities questionnaire. The ATTA test assesses the skills of creativity an individual possesses by their ability to produce unique, relevant ideas and their ability to embellish those ideas with details. The childhood leisure questionnaire documents context-specific sport and leisure participation rates.

The research showed that there is a 14% difference in participants’ overall creativity could be attributed to the amount of time they spent playing an organized sport and informal sports.  Participants in the study who spent about 2,000 hours playing organized sports throughout their young adult life saw a 10-point deduction in their creativity from the mean of 67. The participants who only spend about 1,200 hours playing informal sports saw a 10 point increase in their creativity rather than a 10 point deduction like the children who spent time playing organized sports.

Creativity is important to incorporate as part of a healthy lifestyle because it allows individuals to express their emotions. It is important to be able to express emotion because bottling them up is unhealthy. This article isn’t to say that organized sports is bad but it high-lights the key that you need to allow children to be creative and allow them to express themselves.


Original story published on University of Texas

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