A new research has found that team sport is the only extracurricular activity that makes a marked difference to academic grades achieved by students.
Teenagers belonging to sports clubs - as opposed to activities such as drama or debating - are also more likely to complete their education and enter higher education, Daily Mail reported.
The findings follow a recent survey which revealed that physical education in British schools had been reduced despite a surge in enthusiasm for sport after the London Olympics.
For the study, academics from the University of South Carolina and Pennsylvania State University, observed data of 9,700 high school students aged 14-18.
Matthew Irvin, the paper's lead author and assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, said: "Team sport is significantly related to higher grade-point averages and a higher likelihood of completing high school and enrolling in college."
"Sport allows you to develop a mentoring relationship with adults and with positive, school-oriented peers. They help socialise you into being more focused on school, and may help develop time-management skills, initiative and an ability to work with others," he added.