Student athletes should try to keep grades high

By Audrey Webster | Reporter

High school athletics are one of the positive aspects of being a high school student, allowing students to enjoy themselves while doing a physical activity. However, when athletics step in the way of receiving a good education, students face the consequence of dropping grades and not being allowed to participate in their sport until their grade has been raised. Although it can be difficult, students should try to maintain a sufficient grade point average in order to receive the benefits of athletics.

According to the OSAA athletic standards, more than 60 percent of high school students in the United States are involved in a sport. OSAA also states that students who are involved in athletics are 49 percent less likely to get involved in drugs or alcohol and 37 percent less likely to become pregnant while in high school. Having an extracurricular activity takes up more of the student’s free time, allowing less time to get into trouble while encouraging him or her to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Students get the benefits by learning the concepts of a healthy lifestyle, and they can also participate in an activity they enjoy as well.

Students participating in a team sport can enjoy the sense of accomplishment as they have tried out and made the team. They can also create relationships with students involved in the same sport that will last through their entire high school career, if not longer.

The only way students can receive these benefits is if they keep the grade at a passing level. Student athletes are required to maintain an average passing grade of a C or better in any class, including electives, to compete. Throughout the sports season, coaches are periodically checking their athletes’ grades. If the student  athlete has grades below a C, he or she has approximately two weeks to raise it before being will be placed on academic probation until the grades are raised.  This poses a problem for some athletes. Students can become easily distracted by their sport. Any factor from being nervous for an event or excited for practice can prevent students from paying full attention in the classroom and to the material being taught. Traveling for competitions and not returning home until late at night can also leave athletes feeling exhausted the next day at school, which makes paying attention in class and sustaining a passing grade all the more difficult. This, however, should not keep students from receiving the benefits of participating in sports.

A student athlete must have more determination to maintain passing grades, knowing the consequences are not participating in his or her next competition. Students must be willing to go above and beyond the average student. Fortunately, there is help for students if they are struggling in a certain area. Friday school tutoring is available, which gives students one-on-one help they may require in a certain subject area. Teachers and students who understand the material are available to help for all students, and athletes can and should take advantage of this.

Involving extracurricular activities in a student’s daily life has many benefits, including living a healthy lifestyle and developing relationships with students involved in the same activities. There may be obstacles that force athletes to have to work harder in the classroom and seek outside resources, but doing so is necessary. Because the benefits heavily outweigh the problems, students should strive to do well in both their activity and in the classroom.