Do Athletes Get Better Grades Than Non-Athletes?
by Emma Zavala
When you think of a smart kid, you probably think of a kid with glasses who knows everything and carries a calculator everywhere. When you think of the popular kids, you probably think of the sporty jocks and “dumb” athletes. However, this may not be the case. Most athletes have a very competitive nature, because they have been raised to compete and win. This competitive personality may transfer over to schoolwork as well.
First off, athletes tend to have a better attendance rate because they can’t miss out on their seventh period sport. They also don’t want to get sick because they fear of not being able to compete. At most schools, athletes must also have good grades in order to be on a team, and they must maintain high grades in order to stay on the team.
Secondly, athletes have a tendency to want to do better than their classmates. They want to “win”. They also may be able to focus more because they are used to having to focus on their coach or the game. Now, whether or not they choose to apply that focus, is up to the specific person to decide.
This may not be true to all athletes because the athletes have lots of stuff besides school going on in their lives. Between practices, games, tournaments, and championship games, schoolwork may not seem as important. Let’s say an athlete has 9 ½ hours of practice per week, then games on both days of the weekend, morning and afternoon practices, and tournaments that cause them to miss school. Where does schoolwork fit into this equation. If a teacher assigns a big project on Friday that is due on Monday, chances are that a group of students won’t be able to complete the assignment because of their sport.
Kids who don’t play a sport will naturally have more time to work on their schoolwork, but the addition of a competitive personality, the requirement of having good grades, attendance, and the increased focus (that they may or may not apply at school), athletes are not just the dumb jocks that we perceive them to be.