Athletes and Gym Class

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.

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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 sidelines, wishing they could participate.

If athletes were not required to take a gym class, then it would reduce the risk of injury. It would also help with their homework load. Many high school students today receive three or more hours of homework each night. Most student athletes are not able to even begin to work on it until after their practices. These students often are haggard and are unable to focus because of this.

If they were able to have a free period or study hall instead of gym, then they could do their homework at school, where they would be able to focus better. This would allow them about as much time as their peers who don’t participate in sports have to do homework. Of the more than 7.6 million student athletes in the country, many of them have school related problems that prevent them from finishing their sports season. Whether it’s a gym class injury or too low of a GPA because of inadequate homework, these problems can be fixed by allowing students who participate in school sports to earn school credits for the work they put in on the field. In conclusion, the students who play a sport for their school should be allowed to use the sport they play as PE credits.