April 24, 2012
Many studies have been done regarding the positive impact that athletics has on a student’s life. Studies have looked at the physical impact that athletics has on a student’s life like sportsmanship, healthy lifestyle, discipline, strategy, and time management. We will be looking at studies that have explored the impact that athletics has on students’ academic abilities. Academic success can be measured in many ways but we will explore grade point averages, math and English test scores, and graduation success rates to show the positive impact athletics has on a student’s academic abilities.
Participating in athletics offers students the opportunity to learn valuable lessons they can use for the rest of their lives. Some lessons include teamwork, self-esteem, perseverance, discipline, time management, and healthy living. However, these lessons are not the only lessons a student learns. Students also learn lessons that carry over into the classroom and have a positive impact on academic achievement. These lessons include increased memory, diligence, time management, and memory capacity which can be supported by scientist that have researched the impact of physical activity on the brain. These studies have concluded that exercise causes “neurogenesis”, the process of growing cells in the brain therefore, increasing memory and learning capacities (Blaydes, 2011). The National Federation of State High School Associations in their 2008, “The Case for High School Activities” article shows that the return on investment on athletic programs and other extracurricular activities is very high. “At a cost of only one to three percent (or less in many cases) of an overall school’s budget, high school activity programs are one of the best bargins around. It is in these vital programs – sports, music, speech, drama, debate – where young people learn lifelong lessons as that compliment the academic lessons taught in the classroom” (p. 1) Students who participate in athletics will experience greater academic success than students who do not participate in athletics. Using various research studies I will support this hypothesis by detailing the correlations between academic achievement and athletic participation. Students who participate in athletics have higher grade point averages (GPA), higher Math and English scores, and obtain higher levels of graduation rates and continue on to higher education.
Grade Point Averages of athletes vs. non-athletes
One of the measurements of academic success is grade point averages. High grade point averages indicate one’s diligence, perseverance and desire to succeed. Students who participate in athletics have higher GPA’s than students who do not participate in athletics. The 2002 study conducted by Schaben and Stevens of middle school students showed that students who participated in athletics had an average GPA of 3.15 compared to nonathletic students which carried an average GPA of 2.4 (p. 38). Another study of high school students by Stegman and Stephens (2000) found that both male and female students that had low athletic participation carried lower GPA’s. Male students in the 12th grade that did not participate in athletics carried an average GPA of 3.04 compared to 3.18 of male 12th graders that did participate. Female students in the 12th grade that did not participate in athletics carried an average GPA of 3.28 compared to 3.62 of female 12th grades that did participate (p. 3). Athletic participation directly impacts grade point averages of students that participate; therefore, students who participate in athletics have more academic success than students who do not participate in athletics. Math and English scores of athletes vs. non-athletes
High math scores indicate...