I think they each have a separate value. Both of my sons participated in football. This taught them to follow directions, think outside of the "box" and to accomplish a task through teamwork. They also were each involved in Math League, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Band, and Science Club. The academic activities gave them the opportunity to exercise their mind and press themselves to achieve. Most often they were competing against their own best scores in addition to competing against other students in the area. It was good for them to be involved in both to round out their entire person! Choosing only one, I would have to say I would almost prefer their participation in the physical activities. It is important to know how to work with others and take directions as well as adjusting and adapting. In addition, the physical exercise helps to keep them healthy. Maybe those activities continue to be most beneficial in later years.