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Academics and Athletics

The Weight of Balancing Sports and Athletics Goes Unnoticed


Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash


Student athletes get the short end of the stick when it comes to school. Some students prioritize athletics over academics. In reality, it does not work that way and school must come first before sports. Sports are a part of many athletes' high school careers.


Coaches must understand that school comes first, but teach athletes how to balance academics and school work. At Maclay School all coaches must teach some sort of subject or class when coaching a sport. Many of these coaches either teach in the weight room, history classroom or physical education. There are many sports at Maclay such as football, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, tennis and more. While a coach's primary focus may be on a student's athletic development, they must remember that school comes first. Only a handful of students go on from highschool pursuing their career in the sports world and the others continue on to college. School skills are far more relevant than skills on a field. Sports require another responsibility that can teach these student athletes how to manage their time correctly by communicating with teachers and coaches.


Lifts and practices should not be scheduled during flex. Flex and study hall is a time for getting homework done, office hours with teachers or making up an assignment. Flex should not be used for a practice or a lift in the weight room. While students are provided with this 80 minute period, coaches take advantage of the time. This takes study time away from these student athletes.


School prepares a student for their future. Sports can teach valuable lessons such as discipline and teamwork, but the purpose of school is to receive an education then to prepare students for college. Sports just come along the way with highschool. Academics provide more skills that go beyond the playing field like math, science, history and the rest of the subjects/skills that we learn in and outside of the classroom. We can even take these skills into the real world. Coaches who understand that academics matter can promote the importance of balancing a school schedule plus their sports schedule.


When senior year rolls around, there are always recruits on the lookout for student athletes that are very passionate about their sport. This year's senior class there have been a few signings for students to continue their academic and athletic career at the college they will go to. If they are good at their sport it can lead to scholarships and future sports opportunities. Athletics in the pro world do make big money.


While sports might play a big role in the life of a student athlete, coaches must remember that students are athletes and have to balance both academics and athletics. If you are able to balance the two and be in communication with your teachers then it can lead to growth and success both on and off the field, and in and outside of the classroom.

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Andy Poll

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