Amanda Ripley’s idea that athletics are a distraction in “The Case Against High-School Sports” sparked within me the question of whether all people are equally distracted by athletics in an environment which is heavily focused on academics. The author states, “During football season in particular, the focus of American principals, teachers, and students shifts inexorably away from academics.” I can clearly remember a day last May in high school where I had a late football practice and two AP test the following morning. I recall waking up very tired, sluggish, and upset that I did not get a last minute chance to look over my materials. I remember feeling like I had maybe taken on too much, but I knew I would be alright because I had prepared myself for this moment all year. The experience taught me a lot about responsibility, accountability, and maturing with age. A friend that I went to high school with, let’s call him Wayne, had a similar path in high school, but because of his lack of character he let athletics hinder him from academic success. From my personal experiences like the day of the AP test I have learned that my individual character is what drives me to maintaining a successful balance between academics and athletics.
I place the responsibility to succeed as a student athlete on myself. In other words, I know what I signed up for when I wanted to take on a big load even though at times like the day of the AP test I feel somewhat overwhelmed by it all. The author says sports serve as a distraction in an environment in which academics should reign far superior. From my experiences, like the one last May, I have learned that it is up to me to excel at whatever I am attempting to do. I know not to take on more than I ca...
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...o get the job done when it mattered most.
Character matters most to me because it is who I am and what my image is. My senior year of high school I was named the Georgia Athletic Directors Association’s Male Student Athlete of the Year. I was driven by my desire to be successful, and I was supported by my character in holding myself responsible for all of my involvements. I put myself in a position to be successful by trying my best at everything I did. Is it took much to ask of yourself by pushing yourself to be your best you can be? The problem in Wayne’s case is not athletics were a distraction; it is that the he lacked character. This is not something that can be changed by authoritative intervention at my high school, it can only be changed by the students I know like Wayne deciding for themselves that they want to to be people of character and responsibility.
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