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Do Student Athletes Drop the Ball on School?

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OA is filled with student athletes who participate in sports. However, because of their sports many are given “early outs” where students miss anywhere from a portion of a class period to almost the entire day. Student athletes do miss out on classroom time, especially later classes like 6th period, and some people would say student athletes miss too much school. But is that truly the case and do the pros of sports participation outweigh the time student athletes miss in the classroom?

A sport provides many benefits for high schoolers. Obviously a sport provides physical activity. Exercise strengthens muscles, decreases the risk of diseases, and boosts energy levels. However, sports also build social skills and connections for students. Coaches and sports officials become examples and mentors for growing teens. These connections have real life benefits for students. For example, my track coach helped me get my first job. Because of my relationship to that coach, I was able to connect to others in the community and those connections altered my life in a large way. Sports also create bonds between athletes that persist long after the sport is over. A teammate seen in the halls at school or around town is often greeted with a smile and a familiar hello. Sports also help students mentally. A sport can build self confidence and help the student trust their own abilities and push themselves. Losing a game and constructive criticism are both parts of a sport that help athletes become better, not just on the field or court, but in all areas of life.

With that said, sports also put a strain on students in the classroom. Often students who play sports only go to class twice a week, and their grades often drop. For example, Bradley Samuel was only in 6th period twice a week because of golf early outs. Because of that, his grade in Spanish (his 6th period) dropped 5%. Another student, Hannah McLean, outlined why sports hurt her grades. “It’s hard to get my homework done when I don’t have time,” she said. “So I stay up late and then I’m tired for school.” However, when asked if early outs have hurt his grades, Michael Lopez, a track and soccer player,  answered “Not really. My grades drop because of laziness.”

School is important. Knowledge is power, and knowing a diverse set of information imparts a larger view of the world and situations. But school is also filled with problem after problem, word after word, equation after equation, written quickly on a piece of paper, to be forgotten in less than a year. Instead of another day, another class period, another worksheet, sports give students a chance to breath fresh air and play in the sun. Win or lose, athletes learn directly how their actions affect their surroundings, and can have a fun time with their team. That makes missing a class twice a week well worth the benefits of playing a sport.

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Orcutt Academy High School News and Event
Do Student Athletes Drop the Ball on School?