Athletes VS Physical Education | Teen Ink

Athletes VS Physical Education

January 14, 2010
By lilzullo4893 BRONZE, Stamford, Connecticut
lilzullo4893 BRONZE, Stamford, Connecticut
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Most high school athletes today complain about how if they participate in a sport they shouldn’t be required to take gym to graduate. I am one of those athletes who fully believes this. During my sports seasons in the fall and spring, I don’t put in my hardest effort during physical education because I know that if I waste my energy running around playing kickball, soccer, etc., I won’t be able to give my best during my long, intense practices after school.

Agreeing with my argument is an article from NBC news states that students who attend Hilliard Ohio High School, no longer need to worry about taking a required physical education class. But, in order to not take gym students must meet certain requirements during the year; during registration students must put a course code that represents a physical education waiver, they must participate and complete two sports to qualify and guidance consolers must check with the athletic staff to make sure the student truly did participate during the season. Having this opportunity doesn’t only give the athletic students a chance to take another elective they might be interested in but it also helps out with the students that don’t take part in sports. Gym teacher Matt Gilkerson from a high school in Hilliard, stated that this opportunity,“ physical educators more time to spend with nonsports participants.” Most athletes are capable and knowledgeable about the correct ways to work out, get in shape, and train, since they go over it during every practice, but for those who don’t take part it a sport might not know the proper exercises. Having athletes not present during gym gives the teacher more one-on-one time with other students, and they also don’t have to worry about the students who complain and say, “we know how to do this already.”
Student Sam Darling from Hillard Ohio High School states, “[Athletes] already get enough physical activity during their sports, it gives an opportunity to receive more credits.” I agree with her statement 100 percent. In the beginning of my junior year, my class schedule was insane. I only had three academic classes and my gym class, why? Because for the past two years I’ve finished my health class requirements, but I still need to finish my full year of gym. In order to do so I must take it junior and senior year, which means my schedule basically adjusts to what classes I could fit in around gym. So before the start of the year, only three of the academic classes I chose were able to fit into my day. Now, I am an athlete, so it’s not as if I don’t exercise everyday, so which do you think was more important for me, gym or my academics? As a result, I had to drop one of my electives that I was really interested in taking.

Another school that also had the same thoughts on this topic was Chatham High School, in New Jersey. In the article about this school, it states, “The Board of Education has adopted a new measure that allows students in a varsity sport to opt out of their physical education classes for the marking period in which they are playing. Instead, they would take a study hall.” The superintendent James O’Neill talked about how students who go out for sports usually have rough two hour practices five to six days a week, as opposed to students who don’t, and only have four days of 50 minute gym periods. According to the Departments of Education, the New Jersey Association for Health and Physical Education/Recreation, within the New Jersey school system, about 18 percent of the high schools offer students the chance to opt out of their gym class.

Not only does it not make sense to send athletes to gym when they have intense practices all season, but it also increases the athletes chances of being injured. A study proved that, “…researchers found nearly 12,000 injuries from hospitals during the 11 years…national estimate of nearly 37,000 annual injuries on average, with fewer than 30,000 in 1997 and climbing to more than 60,000 injuries a year by 2007.” How many of those students are athletes? A majority of them. There is no reason for a student who participates in a sport, to risk getting injured while playing a game of kickball, baseball, or any other gym activities.
Every fall, winter and summer for the past seven years I have participated in field hockey. From lessons and travel teams to my JV and varsity high school team. During these seasons I keep my main focus on learning new skills to succeed in the future. Now next year is my senior year, and I would love to have colleges come observe me because I have an interest in continuing field hockey in college. I don’t want to put my future at risk by taking part in gym, especially in high school where gym activities could get pretty rough. Just by spraining or straining a muscle, I could mess up the chances of trying my hardest to show off to the college coaches.

In conclusion I strongly believe that high school athletes shouldn’t have to be required to earn physical education credits to graduate. Most of us athletes will agree that it is just a waste of time because we could be being more productive in a class we actually want to participate in. In addition it can also increase are risks of getting injured during our seasons. So in the battle of Athletes Vs. Gym; I believe athletes win.

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This article has 9 comments.

nk0929 said...
on Feb. 4 2013 at 2:18 pm
  When I was in high school, I was exempt from gym class during the season I was involved in the sport.  By being involved with sports, I was already being taught a life-long lesson of eating healthy and staying in shape.  Today I’m more interested in this topic due to my son being involved in sports.  My son is on a travel hockey and baseball team and practices for both sports year round in addition to a demanding game schedule.   He’s in middle school and since he was in 3rd grade he has complained about gym being “boring”.  He tells me stories of the typical activities the class takes part in and I don’t blame him for being bored.  The classes are taught for the lowest common denominator … and the gym teacher (schools) force kids that are more advanced to sit through it.  If gym is like any other subject, why don’t they have more options?   For example, my son is in advanced math and English to ensure he is challenged enough to keep his interest.  Why do schools expect advanced athletes to sit though gym classes that are geared towards kids that don’t get exercise on a regular basis?  An athlete should either be given the opportunity to use the gym time in a more productive way (study hall, etc …) or the school should offer “advanced” gym classes for student athletes.  Not only will there be different activities, the teacher should focus on topics that are more relevant to a student athlete.

Droik21 said...
on May. 13 2012 at 6:25 pm
I just finished writing an essay on this topic. I'm an athlete myself but i think that student athlete's should be required to take gym. They word student comes first, they shouldn't get special treatment just because they are an athlete. A lot of kids have after school jobs, and work a lot longer hours than kids in sports. Gym classes aren't all about staying fit and working out, they teach you lifestyle skills, and personal fitness. At my school we have over 10 different P.E course you can choose from. You can choose from weight training, lifetime liesure, adventure leadership, competitive team sports, and anything in between. Athletes are going to learn more in these classes than they could from there sport like how to create a workout program, proper ways to lift, diet, nutrition and so much more.

pencil12 said...
on Oct. 25 2011 at 4:41 pm
I really do not think that is about special treatment of athletes. As a full time athlete i know I do not try as hard as I should in gym. Why should I when I have 18+ hours of intense workouts per week? My coach teaches me how to live healthily and eat just as well as any gym teacher of mine in the past has. For me, and probably most other athletes, it is just a waste of time and energy. It is especially so because our coaches expect us to give our whole hearted effort when we show up to practice; we do not want to be tired. Also for my sport (swimming) it is almost impossible to practice with an injury since your whole body is working the whole time. I know that injuries can be caused by the sport alone but why increase the risk? In addition, gym class take up extra time I could be studying since swimming takes up so much time after school. I need the extra time to get my homework done and focus on my grades.

CIvory said...
on Oct. 8 2011 at 2:58 pm
I think this is a really interesting idea. About how student athletes shouldn't get special treatment (props to Fate98) Actually, I am writing a research paper on this topic for my high school. I found that despite all of these arguments opposing student athletes being required to participate, I found that there are more ways to support gym class. It is a program created to teach children about how to live healthy for the rest of their lives. Sports only make children in shape, however, they do not help keep them in shape for ever. Gym class provides the key tools that student athletes need to have in jobs or anywhere else in their life. I think it is also important to acknowledge what teachers have said on this idea. They believe that they provide athletes with a variety of new activities to participate even after they get cut from the college team or after college in general. All of these things come into account. Getting injured it important to athletes but gym class does not pose any more opportunity for injury then the actual sport. I would like to conclude my statement with a quote from a pioneer of physical education: “It’s about enabling each studentto maintain a physically-activelifestyle forever. It meansemphasizing fitness and wellbeing,not athleticism. It eliminatespractices that humiliate students.And it assesses students on theirprogress in reaching personalphysical activity and fitness goals.A quality program exposes kidsto the fun and long-term benefitsof movement – it’s really thatsimple.” -Phil Lawler 

Fate98 GOLD said...
on Apr. 1 2011 at 10:21 am
Fate98 GOLD, Glasgow, Other
11 articles 0 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life isn’t about how popular you are… What girl or boy you are dating or who you know. Life is about always being true to who you are or what you believe in. Never let anyone convince you that their way is better than your way. In the end all we have is our hearts.. and our minds. This is the reason we sing.. this is the reason we cry… this is why we live." - Andy six"

But you could say that about any subject. I read and finish a book in 2 weeks and i write on teen ink all the time, does that mean i get to drop english. I am aslso in a thearter group out side of school and i dont get to drop drama (not that i want to) but thats not the point. The point is that everyone has a fair time table. Why should athletes get   speacial treatment?

joLIshiBA said...
on Oct. 19 2010 at 10:43 am
I think that when you are a student athlete you should be able to have the choice to take the PE class or not. But if the athlete chooses not to participate in the PE class, their sport counts as the PE credit. As an athlete myself, I personally choose to participate in the PE class for more fitness. But I think that all athletes of all sports should have the option to take the class or not.

double3911 said...
on Oct. 14 2010 at 2:31 pm
OMG! great essay i agree 100% not only does running in gym suck after you ran a 3.5 mile race the day before and ur entire body hurts but its always! my lowest grade bc my gym teachers dont no who i am. i play three varsity sports one gym period isn't going to help me in my training only risk an injury!

teyana007 said...
on Oct. 12 2010 at 2:48 pm

To be honest, I think most athletes are well aware that they could be injured when doing a sport. Howver this does not mean that we should not partake in sport, just because there is a chance of injury. I, myself as an athlete have sprained my aknle, broken my finger twice and bruised my nose all because of one sport: Netball, but I continue to do the sport because of my passion for it. I got injured but I did not build a plastic bubble around myself because of the injuries.

In addition, physical education can provide us with important life skills that you may need when you graduate and get a job. For example, pe can provide athletes with communication skills, leadership skills, social skills and listening skills. All of which are used in everyday life.

To conclude, I will like to say that sport is not just about getting injuries and becoming weak. Recovering from these injuries can make you stronger than what you were before!!!

on Apr. 14 2010 at 8:26 pm
michellelb2012 BRONZE, North Truro, Massachusetts
3 articles 9 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from

i agree with this 100 %. im an athlete and i have gotten injured more than once in my gym class which weakened my preformance in practice and also in games.

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