Monday, March 8, 2010

Most Valuable Class

This goes out to all of the doubters who say that sports a detrimental to a student because they occupy time that could be spent studying. According to a new study, girls who play high school team sports are 20% more likely to graduate and are 20% more likely to continue on to college. Why might this be so? One huge reason is that being a member of the team implies that each individual team member is able to and does put forth their best effort to help the team win. Girls in this study, although I would assume that the statistics are similar for guys, probably felt some obligation to not let down the team by failing classes. This commitment to the team would therefore help avoid the low grades that often lead to dropping out. Also, sports teach responsibility, and as a college student myself, I know that the people who are responsible are the ones who do well in college. The only difference is in college, you are only responsible for yourself whereas a high school athlete would be responsible to his or her team. However, because of the accountability that comes from being a part of a team, there is the added "pressure" to not let other people down. When this accountability is taken away through the individual college education, the residue of this habit will still be present except for now, in theory, the individual will realize that he or she should not let him or herself down just like he or she would not let the team down. Also, girls who play high school sports are half as likely to become pregnant as teenagers which also connects to the fact that they realize they need to take care of themselves for the sake of the team as a whole.

So, if anybody tells you that athletics interfere with academic pursuits, send them to me. While at the time sports might seem like a distraction in the already busy lives of many young people, always remember that they are teaching different, yet equally as valuable, skills that will benefit the children for the rest of their lives.

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