BATEMAN: Schedule demands unfair to student athletes



mugshot_batemanIf you are a student athlete, you have probably heard a coach say that academics are more important than sports. Does the statement “grades always come before sports” sound familiar?

For the most part, coaches maintain this philosophy and will act accordingly. But, in some cases, coaches forget about or abandon this idea and coach student-athletes in ways that are counterproductive to achieving academic goals.

Before it is time for potential athletes to begin their sports, coaches normally present a rundown of what they expect of their athletes. In some sports, like baseball and football, coaches will “highly recommend” their athletes to take Athletic P.E. and/or Weight Training for any term they are participating at that sport’s varsity level.

Student-athletes could find themselves sacrificing up to six of their potential academic, elective and AP classes during their high school careers in order to train for even just one sport, which they often spend additional hours doing after school each day. This does not sound like “grades always come before sports” to me.

Now, taking these classes is not mandatory. It does not mean that if one does not take the class(es) then they will get cut from the team. However, disregarding what a coach has deemed “highly recommended” is not the best first step in the process of making a team.

Now, coaches realize that the majority of their players are not college bound for their athletics and will rely more heavily on their education and academics. This is why they should put more stress on academic attainment rather than trying to become the next De La Salle of their sport.

I am one of those student-athletes; the ones who enjoy and love the sports they play but strive for academic achievement because they know that ultimately, that is what will make them successful. I, and many others, would appreciate a little more flexibility in the mandating of classes like Athletic P.E. and Weight Training.

I realize that aerobic, skills and weight training is important for most high school sports in order to be competitive, but that is what practice is for; after school and not in the place of additional elective and AP classes that are going to benefit students more in the future.