The Value of School Sports

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This week, students in the Interscholastic Athletic Directing course commented on the value of school sports. Here are a couple of their thoughts.

By: Clayton Ruch

In my opinion, high school sports are very valuable for many of reasons. High school sports teach students teamwork, communication, accountability, time management, hard work and integrity. By playing sports, students learn how to deal with different type of individuals as well as work through difficult situations. Teaching these young students the idea of a group of people working towards one common goal will help them immensely for when they get a job. They are also forced to learn time management skills as they must balance their school work with the sports they play.

One of the biggest drawbacks of education-based sports programs is funding.  A lot of high school athletic departments do not have enough funds to properly run all of their sports teams. A lot of individuals believe the money that is used to fund sports needs to be used to purchase books and other supplies for every student to use in their education process. Another drawback is the parents of the students who participate in high school sports. Parents tend to get too involved in high school sports and do not let the coach do their job.

I believe high school sports are an asset to education. In order for students to play sports, they must maintain a certain GPA to be eligible. Many students only achieve high GPA’s so they will be eligible to compete. It also teaches students how to balance their time between sports and school which will help them in the future when they have a job and a family.

As an Athletic Director, I would handle these certain situations with integrity, honesty, and great communication. I would meet with the coach of each team monthly and discuss the situations they need help with. I would also have an open door policy with them. When it comes to problems with parents, I would be completely honest with them and explain the reasoning for all decisions made. I believe having great communication with everybody involved will go a long way in having the best athletic department possible.

By: Denise Bailey

I see the value of school sports as stepping-stone that sets the stage of life-long values and skills for young athletes.  Through sports, young athletes learn to be competitive, work as a team and increase their self-esteem. School sports keeps young athletes focused on the importance of priority. Through teaching and mentoring, athletes know that if they are not performing well in the classroom this could jeopardize their eligibility to participate. In addition, athletes know that if they don’t perform well or attend practice then they don’t compete. Coaches, parents, Athletic Directors, mentors, and teammates are just some individuals who play a particular roll in the development of enhancing student growth and making sports fun and rewarding.

One of the biggest drawbacks of education based sports programs is funding. Lack of funding has resulted in program cuts. Cutting less popular or programs that are not generating an adequate amount of revenue leaves many young athletes disappointed. The lack of funding also leaves programs powerless in providing adequate and safe sporting equipment.

Sports is an asset to education. Sometimes the choice of sports and education can become a tug of war. However, education is the higher priority. Athletes who enjoy sports will put education first in order to remain active in their sport.

If issues arise in my district, I would address them immediately and resolve them in a reasonable amount of time. As an Athletic Director, I would assure that the athletic department enriches the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of all students. This would be done by providing competitive opportunities in which the lifelong values of sportsmanship, integrity, teamwork, individual effort, and commitment are stressed. I would also stress the importance of parent involvement and their role in making the sports program a success at the same time help prepare their son’s and daughter’s for what lies ahead through education.

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