The Effects of Athletics on Student Performance

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Across the United States of America, approximately 55% of students participate in extracurricular sports activities. (Koebler, Jason. "High School Sports Participation Increases for 22nd Straight Year." US News. U.S.News & World Report, 02 Sept. 2011. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.) Academic performance, popularity, and physical fitness are all directly affected by involvement in athletics. Overall, and contrary to popular belief, those students who participate in athletic activities often have higher physical, mental and emotional abilities than their non-participating peers. Stereotypically student athletes are portrayed as popular but unintelligent and unmotivated to excel in academics, seeking only the glory that comes from excelling on the football, baseball or other sports field. This portrayal has led to the term “dumb jock,” which is how student athletes are often portrayed in Hollywood and by media. For example, Danny Zuko in the movie “Grease” was cute, adored by girls and idolized by boys, but stupid, highlighted by the scene where the school coach unsuccessfully tries to teach Danny how to play various sports. Similarly, the television show “Friday Night Lights” portrayed high school football players as the envy of all whose glory days ended as soon as high school was over. It is also not uncommon to hear rumors of colleges, where successful sports programs translate into money, overlooking cheating by star athletes or going so far as undertaking efforts to assist a star athlete in achieving a particular grade level just so the athlete may remain eligible to participate in sports. However, students all over the country often defy the stereotypical depiction of the “dumb jock” or athlete who has to have behind-the-scene hel... ... middle of paper ... ...mparison of Athletes and NonAthletes at Highly Selective Colleges." Research in Higher Education 45.16 (2004): 557-602. Web. 7 Oct. 2013. Boyd, Charles E., and Steven M. Ross. "The Influence of Participation in Junior High Athletics on Students' Attitudes and Grades." Physical Educator (1990) Web. 7 Oct. 2013. Miller, Kathleen E., Merrill J. Melnick, Grace M. Barnes, Michael P. Farrell, and Don Sabo. "Untangling the Links among Athletic Involvement, Gender, Race, and Adolescent Academic Outcomes." Social Sport (2005): 178-93. Web. Pallerino, Michael J. "SAVING OUR KIDS." Sporting Goods Business (2004): Web. 7 Oct. 2013. Schafer, Walter E., and J. Michael Armer. "Athletes Are Not Inferior Students." Society6.1 (2004): 21-26. Web. 7 Oct. 2013. Stegall, Ryan. "A Study in The Grade Point Averages of Athletes vs. Non- athletes." (2012): 1-19. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.
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