April 2024

Does Athletic Performance Improve for Men after Having a Child?

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Does Fatherhood Increase Athletic Performance?

The concept of the "fatherhood bonus" for athletes, as explored in the study "Fatherhood and Elite Athletics: Sacrifice, Selfishness, and Gaining 'Dad Strength'" published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website, suggests that fatherhood can indeed have a positive impact on the performance of professional athletes.

The study, which focused on the experiences of male elite athletes who are fathers, found that fatherhood can improve elite athlete-fathers’ athletic performance. This improvement is attributed to the new responsibilities and emotional connections that come with being a father, which can serve as an additional source of motivation for athletes.

The study identified three main themes related to fatherhood and athletic performance:

(1) fatherhood can improve athletic performance,

(2) fatherhood can impede athletic performance,

(3) athlete-fathers experience a trade-off between athletic performance and fatherhood responsibilities.

Despite the potential challenges and trade-offs, the positive impact of fatherhood on athletic performance is significant.

The athletes reported that the experience of becoming a father positively contributed to their athletic performance, suggesting a "fatherhood bonus" where the new role provides them with extra motivation and strength, sometimes referred to as "Dad Strength."

This "fatherhood bonus" aligns with the broader concept of involved fatherhood, reflecting a new era where male athletes balance their professional commitments with active participation in their children's lives. The study's findings contribute to the understanding of how personal life changes, such as becoming a father, can influence professional athletes' performance in a positive way, offering an additional source of motivation and emotional support that can enhance their athletic achievements.

In conclusion, the study "Fatherhood and Elite Athletics: Sacrifice, Selfishness, and Gaining 'Dad Strength'" provides evidence that fatherhood can indeed boost the performance of professional athletes, offering a unique perspective on the intersection of personal life and professional sports.

Issa Hall, Esq

Issa has founded multiple ventures, is an author, and founding partner of Hall & Dixon law firm, with over a decade of experience in tech and law.

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