Athletes and Gym Class

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Over 55 percent of all high school students will take part in an extracurricular sport this year. Most, if not all of these students get home late each day after an exhausting practice, only to have more hard work ahead of them – their homework. Some days, it will be past midnight by the time they finish. When they get to school the next day, they’re fatigued from their lack of sleep. They hardly have any energy to walk out the front door, let alone run around in gym class. Since grades in physical education are largely based upon participation, the student may take a lower grade due to their lassitude, despite the fact that they work extremely hard at their chosen sport. Yet, all they get for their dedication is a pat on the back. This should not be the case. All student athletes that play a sport for their school should earn credits toward graduation for the sports they play.

The credits student athletes would earn could be used with a quarter year of a health class in place of their PE classes. However, since many athletes enjoy the break from schoolwork that PE can be, they would be able to continue taking the class if they so wished. If a student chose to opt out of his or her gym class, then he or she would instead have a free period or study hall in which they could complete any homework he or she had for the day, reducing the load he or she would have after their practice. This would remove an immense amount of pressure on the student, which in turn would make them more alert and attentive in class and even better at their sport. In addition, removing gym class from an athlete’s schedule may even save them from injury.

In 2007, about 62,000 students were injured during their gym class. This may be due to other students fooling around, uncorrected improper form in an exercise, or even simply tripping and falling. No matter what the cause, an injury to an athlete can cause several weeks, or even months of watching their team from the...
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