“The Case against High School Sports,” written by Amanda Ripley in October of 2013 argues that high school sports are too competitive and demanding. She thinks that demanding sports are drawing students’ attention away from the main reason why they are in high school- academics. “High School Sports Aren’t Killing Academics,” written by Daniel H. Bowen and Colin Hitt counters Ripley’s article, and states that in their studies sports provide benefits that increase academic success.
I agree with Bowen and Hitt because I played sports in high school and I earned good grades, while learning attributes that are important in life such as: discipline, organization, time management, and responsibility. As well as life attributes, I also made many great memories playing sports that I will treasure forever. I believe that high school sports should not be limited, but rather looked at in a positive way. It is believed that the United States spends more tax dollars per athlete than math student. Ripley claims that the United States is falling in the international ranks for a critical thinking math test.
She gives an example of a girl named Jenny at Shawnee High School in New Jersey. Jenny and her friends play badminton while on a lunchbreak, while high school students in South Korea study. Two hundred former foreign exchange students were surveyed, and asked whether or not kids in the United States cared more about sports or school. The results were a landslide, nine out of the ten exchange students said that U. S. kids care more about sports. “Muscular Christianity,” occurred during the Victorian era. Sports served as a distraction against vices like gambling and prostitution.
In the early 1900s, people wondered why they payed tax dollars for the students to suffer brain damage from playing football. In 1909, New York City superintendents decided to get rid of football, believing that soccer would become the popular sport. One year later, football was welcomed back with newer rules making it safer to play (Ripley). Sociologist James Coleman theorized that if a visitor came into a school, the first thing they would see is a trophy case full of gold and silver cups signifying that the school is very successful in athletics.
That visitor doesn’t see anything signifying that the school is doing well in academics. A high school in Texas had to abolish all sports in order to survive. The school claimed that they could save $150,000 a year in order to bring back the struggling school. They stated that it was approximately $1,300 per football player, and $618 per math student. After the abolishment of the sports, the students were never the same because they now lacked the social and disciplinary perspectives that a school is supposed to provide.
A study at the University of Pennsylvania showed that an increase in girls playing a high school sport resulted in higher college-attendance and employment rates. Columbia’s Margo Gardner’s studies showed that teenagers whom participated in extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, and organizations, had higher college graduation rates and voting rates (Ripley). Studies show that athletic success increases test scores and decreases drop-out rates. Bowen and Hitt believe that athletics increase academic success, not decrease it like Ripley thinks.
Winning is believed to deemphasize academics, but rather it increases the level of academics. A community also comes together and is happy when their school is doing well. Athletic events give non-student athletes an opportunity to get together and cheer for the same cause, this strengthens social capital. Studies in Ohio prove this statement correct, these types of venues lift a community rather than tear it down (Bowen & Hitt). Bowen and Hitt look at sociologist James Coleman’s later research, and his later research suggests that academic success is based off of social capital.
Social capital means “the norms, the social networks, and the relationship between adults and children that are of value for the child’s growing up” (Bowen & Hitt). Bowen and Hitt theorize that sports reinforce the missions of schools that will help academic achievement, rather than hurt it. They look at a program in Chicago called “Becoming a Man—Sports Edition. ” Male students who are at-risk are assigned a counselor and an athletic coach for a year. In the program, sports are played to form bonds between the at-risk student and his mentor.
Selfcontrol is a big attribute that is slowly learned during the process. Long term studies showed that the boys whom participated noticed that their study habits improved, as well as their grade point averages. They were also less likely to be in violent crimes, and they would less likely run into an encounter with the juvenile justice system (Bowen & Hitt). Sports play a positive role like enhance academic achievement, better social life, and a higher self-esteem. Goal setting and time management are learned by the youth when competing in a sport, while they are still having fun playing the sport.
Studies show that kids who play a sport are less likely to contemplate suicide. If male athletes are compared to male non-athletes, studies show that the athletes show less signs of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. Research has shown that physical movement can affect the brain’s physiology by increasing cerebral capillary growth, blood flow, oxygenation, and so on (TrueSport). I grew up playing many sports. In high school | played basketball, and also ran track. Some of my greatest memories were from basketball and track.
I was very successful in both sports, in fact, my senior year our 4×1 team broke the school and league record. I will never forget where it was ran, who was on the team, or how well we ran that day. Many friends were made while running track and playing basketball. I still have friendships with guys who I played AAU basketball with in eight grade! But while I participated in these sports, I never let my grades slip. Time management was an important attribute to possess while playing a sport and succeeding in school. When and individual plays a sport, time management is a key attribute to have.
You always have to know a day ahead what is planned for the next day so you’re prepared. Over my high school years | had the same coach in basketball and track. While track is a bit more laid back, basketball was always demanding. I never showed up late to a practice there would be a punishment, like running or sitting out a game. I mean it makes sense, someone can’t show up late to his or her job and expect nothing to happen. More than likely a boss and one of my employees showed up late, I would fire them unless they had a very good excuse.
Time management and responsibility are important attributes picked up while participating in sports. These attributes will apply to that person down the road in life and it will pay off. After high school, many student athletes have dreamed of playing a sport for a big school. Scholarships are awarded to an outstanding student athlete. To earn a scholarship like this, the athlete must exceed in the classroom. Even if an individual is not an athlete, special scholarships are given when that person earns spectacular grades.
Inn high school, if a person loves a sport, they cannot slack in their academics. If a person expects to play with terrible grades then they’re wrong. Receiving bad grades can result in ineligibility, so a student athlete must keep on top of their studies. I stand for sports in high school because I also believe that they can better a person in life and in academics. Many life lessons are taught through discipline practices like time management and responsibility. You meet many new people who share the same interests with you while playing a sport.
I have applied attributes learned through sports to the classroom. I am very organized when it comes to doing stuff and learned that through basketball when it is necessary to know where all my teammates are supposed to be on the floor. If high school sports were abolished today, student athletes would not do as well academically because they would not get to represent their school and play a sport they love. I believe academics are enhanced by playing sports and I hope it stays that way for many more centuries.