Effects of Student Athletics on Academic PerformanceIn America, sports have been and continue to be a huge part of youth culture. There are over 450,000 athletes competing at the collegiate level across the nation across 24 different sports (NCAA, 2012) (Grimit). All of these students were fortunate to continue their athletics career which a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to do. At South Dakota State University, 67 students took place in a survey about being a student athlete (Grimit).  The study found that participation in athletics was extremely beneficial. The students according to the survey were able to gain impressive time management skills, they were more motivated to go to class everyday, complete their degree, and just experience a better transition into the college life. Student athletes are depended on by their teammates and their coaches, sports in general will have good effects therefore making for a better student athlete in the classroom.Sports in high and college in the United States get a lot more attentions and are more important to the United states than sports in any other country. In high school there are three seasons to play sports, fall, winter, and spring. A student can participate in as many sports and they would like in those three seasons. Students often times will miss class due to sporting events, in most cases the student is excused from class and has an opportunity to make up the work. To compare, college sports are far more competitive. Generally a student will play one sport and will be exceedingly good at the sport, practicing year round. In 2010, public institutions had a certain amount of money to spend on athletics and a certain amount for academics. For athletics, their spending limit was $92,000, academics spending amount at $14,000 (Gregory). With all this money going to athletes the athletes feel more pressure to perform well because they’re on a scholarship and with the pressure and fear creates a good work ethic overall.Researchers and scientists have argued whether or not exercise can improve brain activity and be beneficial. Princeton University held a study conducted by a graduate working for the National Institute of Mental Health, the study was focusing on a certain part of the brain that dealt with anxiety and they used a mouse as a test subject (Kelly). The results of this experiment explained that when the mouse would exercise regularly the mouse was able to control its anxiety when exposed to stressor items. Overall all what the experiment exposed was that when exercising the brain can be less triggered to stressful things. Example, a college student may have a rough day in math class worrying a lot about a test they have coming up, but then the student has to go to the routine practice they have everyday and can get rid of that stress and free the mind. The hippocampus, the part of the brain the deals with stress, in addition to regulating anxiety, also deals with memory and learning. By reducing all the stress/anxiety by exercising, the brain is able to think and soak in information more easily (Godman). Also when dealing with sports and school and student athlete needs to have a good attention span. A research study done at the University of Granada in Spain shows that people involved in regular physical activity have a better-sustained attention span than those with poor physical health (Siddique). In addition to the study just to add on a few more facts, 28 young spanish men that were college students with poor physical fitness, according to the standards of the american college of sports and the other half were college athletes at the same university or members of a cycling team they had locally, they completed a computerized test related to attention tasks to see how well their performance compared. Not only did the athletes perform better on the attention part of the computerized test, but the athletes also shows more rapid reaction times than the college students with poor physical fitness (Siddique). Overall the ability to regulate a students anxiety, stay focused, and memorize more tremendously helps an athlete perform well in school. For the youths of our country and any country, psychologists say that sports are great for the youths development. These psychologists argue that sports will create good habits and behaviors for the youths like honesty, teamwork, hardwork, setting goals and other important qualities to have in life (Healthy Development of children and young people through sports). All of the good qualities learned by a student through sports whether it be children, high schoolers or college students, it will all transfer over to the classroom naturally. Setting goals on the field will transfer to the classroom setting academic goals. Good team work on the field leads to good teamwork in the classroom, interacting with other students in a cooperative way, maybe even leading in the classroom. Sports can also teach a student how to handle competitive activities in the right way, and cope with losing or winning in the right way creating a good attitude. Athletes will go through a lot of ups and downs when playing sports, they’ll have someone they look up to like a professional athlete or maybe their coach. Sports can help an athlete handle looking up to the right people, people that have been in their shoes and gone through what they have gone through and made it out alive. These people will most of the time be great role models and examples for that student athlete to look up to and often times let and provide and opportunity for the athlete to set goals. Along with the great peers that student athletes will come across they will also meet tons of people their own age that are striving for the same goal they are, creating great friendships each and every year. Gaining knowledge and confidence year after year the athlete will maybe even become a role model to youths and have that great responsibility on their back which is great for social skills.The mind is everything, putting sports and school together and evenly balancing it out is a great way to improve the mind of a young student athlete. With everything learned from being an athlete it clearly shows how a student athlete can take the great qualities from the field, court, pool, ect. And bring those great qualities into the classroom. Sports in America give a great place for kids to find a hobby, have a passion for something and in some cases make a career out of it, all while gaining great qualities in a safe environment and great family setting.


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