The Benefits of High School Sports

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This week, students from Introduction to Sports Administration discuss the benefits of having sports in our high schools.

By: Adam Pitt

The benefits of athletic programs in schools far outweigh the negative headlines that are pushing the debate to cut funding for sport programs.  For one, Sports gives students a healthy outlet to express themselves that they might not be able to in the classroom.   Sport programs also help kids develop a multitude of important life skills.  Many of these skills include problem solving, commitment, discipline, time management, self-esteem, and respect.  A lot of kids use sports to build social skills and create lifelong friendships.  Sure sometimes education can take a back seat to athletics but let’s not forget all the good things sports provide kids.

In a perfect world every kid would value education and view athletics as a hobby, but let’s face it some students simply go to school to play sports. I am a firm believer that education comes first but if sports helps kids perform better in school whether it’s maintaining a certain GPA to be on the team or motivation to achieve a scholarship, then why take something away that is motivating student’s to go to school?   We should be looking at solutions that appeal to both education and athletics.

There seems to be a lot of arguments when it comes to funding athletic programs.  The two main ones I see are money spent on athletics and fighting among players. If we look at the argument that sport programs are too physical and kids are turning into warriors because of sports.  This is ridiculous, yes sports can be aggressive but it’s up to coaches and parents to teach kids the right way to play and that fighting isn’t a logical option.  Sure there are some fights that take place in sports but there are fights that happen in the classroom all the time, so that argument that fights wouldn’t happen is ludicrous.

I do agree that it is absurd to pay coaches more than the teachers, and build stadiums that a professional team would love to play at but to punish the kids for these mistakes is unfair.  The administration needs to look at where the money is going and how to better utilize the funds.  If they can adjust the way the program is spending money and use some of the funds to put towards education I think everyone will be happy.  Everyone is so quick to pull the trigger to eliminate sports because it may not be something they personally enjoyed in high school or maybe their kids do not participate in sports so they are all for cutting after school athletics.  I truly believe that athletics and education can continue to coexist.   Kids receive way more benefits from having the opportunity to participate in sport programs rather than relying on club teams.  If athletic programs need to be adjusted ok, but there is no reason to cut them all together.   It is the administration that needs to be corrected and not the athletic programs.

By: Erica Hayworth

Think back to your high school days. What do you remember most? Is it the classes? Is it the teachers? Is it being a part of a team? Every person has his or her own unique experience of high school. What do I remember the most? I remember my senior year basketball season. I remember by team playing in the state final four and the stands being filled with parents, students, and faculty members who are all going crazy. In that moment, the whole school came together as one and it was experience unlike any.

Today as a nation we are debating whether or not to take away experiences like mine. That experience was not just about me, it was about the school. Sports bring people together. For a short moment in time, people of all different shapes, sizes, interests, and cliques come together and are unified as one.

Those in favor of removing high school athletics say sports promote violence and a negative atmosphere. To that group of people, I say you are completely wrong. Take a group of people who are into politics. One wrong statement and people go absurd. This is action is acceptable because it is politics, right? In the sports world, one bad call and people freak out. This action does not promote a positive environment, right? Anything can cause a reaction. This is not strictly limited to sports. People need to hold different situations to the same standards and realize these acts are not malicious. Passion and support cause this reaction. People react this way in defense of who or what they are rooting for.

Sports give outlets and teach ways to react to certain situations that a classroom environment cannot. As a player of the game you learn how to control your actions and exert any negative energy you feel in other ways. Self-discipline and mental toughness are skills taught through sports. People that lack those skills are the ones you see punching someone or verbally attacking people. It is a rare day when you see athletes going at it. Athletes are taught to work through unfavorable situations.

If sports are removed from high schools, I think schools will see a negative effect. Schools will lose out on a sense of community and school spirit. Schools will miss those life-changing moments when the most unexpected groups come together as one. Do not be the one to take experiences away. I know my high school experience would not be the same with them.

By: Scott Kazmierski

For more then 100 years high school sports have made a positive impact on young men and women, and the communities that support them.  High school sports started as a way for boys and girls to spend time after school doing something productive that would create values, discipline, respect, and competition that is outside the classroom.  There is no reason to cut high school sports, or take away something that is so valuable to young people.  Even with today’s budget cuts, and occasional negative story, high school sports are very important and necessary.

High school sport’s does more than just create discipline and competition.  It creates a belonging of something greater than individual goals that are just seen in the classroom.  It helps young people understand the importance of working for a team goal, and working together to achieve it.  Even in individual sports your success as a team is dependent on your individual success.  Teamwork, discipline, and competition are taught and learned every day in high school athletics, and we need that more now than ever.

High school sports, creates an opportunity for the community, students, and faculty to rally around a cause and take great pride in their school, and community.   It can bring together a town and bring positives to a community.  It helps bring school pride, unity, and spirit for others not participating in the sport.  To understand that you are playing for something bigger then yourself is a life value that is important.

High school sport’s creates a positive after school atmosphere that is important in keeping young people busy.  Outside the obvious positives of exercise one gets from athletics, there is research that students involved in high school athletics do better in school.  Jay Green’s article on high school athletics and academics state’s “We found that high schools that devote more energy to athletic success also tend to produce more academic success” (Greene 2013).

There are always going to be some that break the rules or cause a black eye for high school athletics.  While there are occasional examples of this, there are also occasional examples in other after school functions, and after school activities.  These negatives, that occasionally occur, are not the norm and should not let us forget the many more positives that come from high school athletics. Without high school sports many would not be successful or have the opportunities that they do.

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