Academics & Athletics-Making them Work Together

By: Micah Hughes, Intermediate Social Studies, Intermediate Basketball Coach, Assistant Varsity Football Coach

“Sports build good habits, confidence, and discipline. They make players into community leaders and teach them how to strive for a goal, handle mistakes, and cherish growth opportunities.” Julie Foudy.

I have always thought academics and athletics go hand in hand. I have coached multiple sports for many years, and the goals I have helped my students establish in the classroom are the same goals I carry onto the athletic field. I oftentimes think academics and athletics are viewed with preconceived biases: academics having qualities that are lacking in athletics. In reality, they are similar in the goals and lessons they teach. It requires the collaborative effort of both teachers and coaches to highlight the advantages these two disciplines can provide when focused on acquiring a knowledge base and skill set to accomplish an established goal. ┬áSo often I hear people say, “Oh, he’s just an athlete.” This disparaging remark implies that the athlete is limited in his/her capacities beyond the game field. We need to view students holistically and help them develop their gifts and talents, whether in the classroom or on the field. We know from a statistical standpoint that the majority of athletes will not advance to the next level professionally, and if they do, it will not be a lifelong career. This is why it is important to teach students to strive for worthy goals in whatever their life endeavors they might be. This mindset will ensure a successful future.
Academics and athletics support one another. They both have goals that are predetermined and are achievable. They both require hard work and perseverance. They both reap the rewards of social recognition and personal satisfaction. To be a well-rounded Renaissance man or women, academics and sports provide the opportunities to showcase the potential that individuals are capable of accomplishing.
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