High schools across the nation focus way too much on school sports compared to academics and other extra-curricular activities, negatively impacting students’ learning and poorly preparing them for the future.
In the US, sports are a major part of the school environment through pep rallies, participating in sports fundraisers, and attending high school games. These events may be fun, but in the end, they have negative effects on the athletes and other students.
Due to the amount of attention student athletes get, it creates a false impression that they can make it professionally when that is simply not the case. High school athletes rarely ever make it to the pro level. In fact, only 480,000 out of eight million high school athletes will play in college NCAA schools and of that, only a very small number will compete on a professional or Olympic level. For example, only 0.03 percent of high school male basketball players will ever make it to the NBA.
Other students are negatively impacted by school sports as well. Pep rallies and sport assemblies that have nothing to do with them waste class time. Schools have pep rallies for sports, but nothing for clubs and academics, making it seem like other extracurricular activities are not as important
Freshman Andreas Dazos says, “It is unfair for students who are not athletes because schools focus much more on sports compared to other extracurricular activities. I feel that they should be given equal attention.”
The primary purpose of schools is to teach and prepare students for the future. Sports have little to nothing to do with this for most students. It is like saying law schools should invest time into teaching students art and should pay for and run the program.
Schools spend a lot of money on sports that they could be using for education as well. They need to pay coaches and referees, buy and update equipment, and provide a field for the games to be played on. According to 2018-19 Monroe Township Budget Philosophy, replacing the cage turf field will cost $555,000 and building another set of bleachers for the cage field will cost $45,000. Overall, the district budgets over $1,000,000 for sports compared to under $600,000 for all other extracurriculars.
Freshman Ahsan Akhunzada says, “Academics and sports should be separated. The purpose of school is to teach and prepare us for the future, and the money could be used towards academic purposes.”
Because of sports, students focus much less on academics compared to other countries, who do not have high school sports. The Programme for International Student Assessment or PISA is an international test that measures reading, math, and science among 15-year-olds. The United States is one of the most developed countries in the world, so one would assume it places high on the PISA, but this is not the case. The US ranked 38 out of 71 in math and 24 in science and reading. Asian countries placed very high on the list in all three categories, and most lack high school sports.
Many schools have sports to increase their prestige, which is a selfish and poor reason for having them.
Do you think school sports positively or negatively effect students and their learning? Why?