High School Athletics

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High School Athletics
David Beach
University of Denver

Abstract
This study deals with high school athletics and their long-term effect in the lives of those who participate; it also deals with the positive and negative aspects of athletics during high school, and the treatment of those who participate. This study was conducted with qualitative data obtained from five personal interviews with previous high school athletes. These five people come from a range of places, ages, and experience. Conclusions are that participation in high school athletics is a contributor to a better social life and experience during high school. Good friends and influences are obtained through the pursuit of high school athletics. The long-term effects from participation in athletics are generally positive and enjoyable. I also conclude that coaches can have a negative effect on participants of sports during high school. Further evidence could amplify my research by asking the same depth of questions to a larger audience allowing the results of race and gender to be studied further. Further research could also bring out cases of overall negative experience, and negative aspects could then further be examined.

Introduction:
The issue of high school athletics and the role that they play in the lives of student athletes has been a heavily debated topic throughout the last few decades. I myself participated in high school sporting activities, and for me, athletics had a major impact on my life during those four years. This continues to be a relevant topic as extracurricular athletic activities have seen an increase in their popularity and participation in recent years (Howard, 2009). The positive and negative effects that high school athletics have on young adults are a continually heated topic within the population today (Troutman, Dufur, 2007). I believe this is a perfect time to conduct research of my own to help better understand this issue. Anyone currently participating in high school sports, parents of those participants, previous participants, and anyone involved in high school athletics at all will find this research interesting and applicable.

I was pulled to this topic because of my previous involvement in high school sports. For me high school athletics was one of the biggest parts of my life during my time as an adolescent. I was surrounded by a very positive outlook on sports at my school, and all the teachers and counselors supported athletics outright. For me finding information on some of the negative concerns and opinions regarding high school athletics was very interesting. I feel drawn to this topic because of it’s major impact in my life and I would love to add to the research conducted about this issue. I found many sources already dealing with this topic, with multiple themes regarding different conclusions.

The first major theme around these sources was that of the relationship between high school athletes and their better academic achievement in school. In Hauser’s and Lueptow’s (1978) article, “Participation in Athletics and Academic Achievement: A Replication and Extension”, they find that athletes have on average a higher GPA at the end of their high school careers than do non-athletes. This is backed up by the information cited in the article “Consequences of Participation in Interscholastic Sports: A Review and Prospectus”, which explains that athletes get slightly better grades than do comparable non-athletes (Phillips, Schafer 1971). This evidence is supported further with the findings of Michael Hanks (1979), whose article appeared in Social Science Quarterly. A quote taken from Hanks article reads as follows: “This is true for both male and female blacks and whites, and strengthens the evidence that participation in high school athletics has basically salutary effects on the educational achievement of high school students.” It seems as though High school athletics have been reasonably proven to...
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