By: Sophia Powell
Participating in sports and having college worthy grades are definitely a dream for most high school students, but for some, it can be a bit challenging to keep up with and exceed in both categories. Studies from edweek.org show that 57% of high school students played some kind of sport between the years 1991-2019, with track being the most popular sport for girls and football being the most popular for boys. Most people would think that trying to balance both of them can be very tricky, but in some cases playing sports can actually help improve your grades!
Playing sports has many benefits on students’ academic performance. Sports can help your brain grow and create a better work ethic. This is because the exercise that comes with playing sports helps blood circulate to the brain. According to The University of Chicago Press Journals, the average GPA of a student that does not play sports is 2.99 while the average GPA of a student-athlete is 3.03. This is because while playing sports, students are not only exercising, but they are boosting their self-esteem, having social interactions, improving their focus, and learning how to better communicate with their peers and coaches.
In most Florida high schools, students are required to have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA to be able to participate in athletics. Students that are already participating in sports and don’t have the minimum GPA of 2.0 are normally suspended from their sport until they meet the requirements to play again. Not only do athletes need the right GPA, but they also need to participate in drug tests to ensure sobriety as well as have good attendance and behavior in and outside of the school setting since they represent the school no matter what. Another benefit from students participating in sports is that it’s a better alternative to getting themselves involved in harmful activities and hanging out with bad influences. Since a sport will keep them busy and hopefully away from these sorts of things.