What’s More Important for Sports: Mind or Body?

There is no shortage of insight and acuity on this subject, yet one with a similar message and tone: Sports and/or physical activity benefit both mind and body. However, does one supersede the other from a physical v. mental standpoint? Or are they one in the same physiologically? The STEM Sports® curriculum examines and demonstrates the importance of both mind and body … on and off the field and court.


Whether running cross-country or running wind sprints in the outfield in preparation for the upcoming baseball season, sports can create healthy habits to manage weight, blood flow, diabetes, and other health-related components. Sports can provide balance between our physical and mental growth to induce healthy attributes, including what we put in our bodies to ensure strength, focus, and sustainability on the field and court. The STEM Soccer and STEM Basketball curricula dissects the impact of the active student-athlete using the following Science and Math concepts:

Calculating Calories and Heart Rate

  • BPM (Beats per minute)
  • Resting Heart Rate
  • Maximum Heart Rate
  • Heart Rate after a 5 minute soccer or basketball game

Formula: Weight/2 (kilograms) x 8.5 MET value (Metabolic Equivalent Task) x number of minutes or hours played

Examples: Lionel Messi: 160/2 x 7 x 1 hour = 560 calories burned; Lebron James: 250/2 x 7 x .5 hours = 437.5 calories burned


The majority of us recognize the importance of sports and/or physical activity to the human body as outlined in the last section. As it relates to the overall effect on our mind… There may be some room for learning and growth. The University of Missouri Health Care program is composed of a team that focuses and specializes on youth and adolescent sports participation and physical activity. Particularly, mental health and its subsequent value for the student-athlete that burns 350 calories playing basketball or soccer for just a half hour. The MU team identifies how team sports help teach adolescents accountability, dedication, leadership, among other skills, such as the following:

  • Many athletes do better academically

Playing a sport requires a lot of time and energy. Some people may think this would distract student-athletes from schoolwork. However, the opposite is true. Sports require memorization, repetition and learning — skill sets that are directly relevant to class work. Also, the determination and goal-setting skills a sport requires can be transferred to the classroom.

  • Sports teach teamwork and problem-solving skills

Fighting for a common goal with a group of players and coaches teaches you how to build teamwork and effectively communicate to solve problems. This experience is helpful when encountering problems at work or at home.

  • Sports boost self-esteem

Watching your hard work pay off and achieving your goals develops self-confidence. Achieving a sport or fitness goal encourages you to achieve other goals you set. This is a rewarding and exciting learning process.

  • Reduce pressure and stress with sports

Exercising is a natural way to loosen up and let go of stress. You can also make new friends who can be there for you as a support system. When you feel under pressure or stressed, call up a teammate, head to the gym to talk and play it out.


So, what’s more important for Sports: Mind or Body? The STEM Sports® team believes the physiological benefits are equal: You can’t succeed – on and off the field/court – without the other. In addition to each STEM Sports® curriculum, we provide academic resources – Individualized and At-Home or School – to aid in the academic and physical development of each student-athlete now and in their future.

Source: Benefits of Sports – MU Health Care

Do you wish to stay up-to-date with STEM Sports®?

Sign up below to receive the latest information on our STEM education, curriculum and available resources.