Abstract the classroom and on the playing field

Abstract             The proposed research is designed todistinguish an answer to the argument that college sports participation takesaway from the student’s academic performance. While several studies show that sportsparticipation causes children to do worse in school then those that are notparticipating in sports, it is unclear if this affiliation is a result ofnegative academics from the child, or due to the impact of the sports on thekids minds and ability to participate in school. The general focus of thisstudy is on how athletes and non-athlete’s grade are during the school year. Thestudy will examine the effects of sports participation on many differentmeasures of their academic performance. Participants (N-40) will be sent anonline survey that they will be asked to fill out to the best of their ability,also scholarly articles based on this topic will be looked at and examined infinding an answer to the question of this study. This research will providesomewhat of an answer to the argument on if sports participation effects theathlete’s academic performance.           IntroductionThere are about 482,600 studentsthroughout roughly 1,092 colleges or universities that participate inathletics. About 187,000 alone are division III student-athletes (NCAA, 2014).

Manychildren are pressurized into sports when they are younger, by their parents.Getting involved and finding a passion or hobby in life is not easy. But,should parents be pushing their children into a life full of sports or are theeffects of sports too negative to keep pursuing? Lots of athletes are not giventhe chance to play sports in college but as stated about nearly 482,000 studentathletes have been given that opportunity.

The term “jock” is the typicalstereotype of athletes in high school and college. The term “jock” hasnegatively been linked with the average athlete who seems solely concerned sports, but is the name livingup to the academic ambitions of student-athletes today? Studies suggest “thatthe competing demands of high expectations in the classroom and on the playing fieldmay lead to academic difficulties for some student-athletes” (Scott, 2008).However, many other studies have shown that students do have better academicstanding in season then they do out of season. Scott states “student-athletesperform better academically in-season than they do during the less structuredoff-season” (Scott, 2008). The purpose of this study is to examine theeffects of involvement in college athletics on student athlete’s academic performance.                                     Literature Review:Lots of athletes growing up have agoal of becoming a professional athlete and getting paid to play the sport theylove, but once entering college the about 500,000 student athletes then realizethat the goal is not totally realistic. Majority of student-athletes do not goon to play professionally, this causes students to really think if the sacrificeof their academic performance is worth it. People do argue that academicperformance is quiet troubling when it comes to athletes because once the fouryears is up they only have their knowledge of what they learned in classes tofall back on.

Wretman explains that”physical activity can promote cell stability and lighten the negative effectsof stress on the body” (Wretman, 2017). Students that participate in schoolsports have been seen to be more attentive in class and more eager to learn newthings. They are like this because they channel their energy they have into thesports they are playing so they do not have a crazy amount of energy whilesitting in class. Sabia and Rees say that “participationin structured athletic activities is said to promote a wide range of social,physical, and intellectual skills, leading to better classroom performance” (Sabia,2010). Young student-athletes have scored higher on tests, because of theirstudy habits, they are more motivated to study and the reasons why they do it becomeway clearer to them. This shows the importance of arranging the free time whenthis time is occupied, in a bigger part, by training and playing their sport,and how important and beneficial it is to invest time in active relaxation insteadof sedentary relaxation activities, this shows that sports at a competitionlevel improves performance and does not interfere with studies. It is seen inmany different studies that athletes on average perform better academicallythen non-athletes. Some have argued that important skills and qualitiesare developed through participation in sports that are not acquired through theacademic curriculum.

They argue that athletic participation plays and importantrole in their academics.Chasing deadlines andrunning late to lectures are the most strenuous forms of exercise many collegestudents engage in. To some, even the slightest thought of balancing a sportingcareer with a degree is enough to make some of us sweat.

But evidence suggeststhat juggling the two can benefit both academic and sporting performance. One study alone said that having two careers (i.e. sports and academics) provides encouragementfor training and preparation, inspiring athletes intellectually and relievingstress at the same time. Self-discipline is tied to academic focus, helping to getrid of procrastination. Students are often directed to exercise because ofits mood-enhancing properties and for good reason, a commonly used saying is “ahealthy body equals a healthy mind”. Researchers say that “thetime demands of athletic programs force student-athletes to sacrifice attentionto academics making it difficult for them to devote time to study or earn goodgrades” (Aries, 2004). However, in many other studies it shows that the amountof time that is needed for sports teaches students how to manage their timebetter.

They figure out a way to manage their school work and theirgames/practices. It was said that student athletes at highly selective schoolsencounter greater academic challenges, they are given harder classes andexpected to perform at a higher level than other students. As an athlete, youare held to a higher standard and expected to perform at that level all thetime, this is because you represent the school in a different way thannon-athletes. You are always expected to perform your best no matter what.Commitment to school sports does not have to translate intocompromised academic performance. Although these students often feel substantialpressure to perform both on the field and in the classroom, the benefits ofathletic endeavors seem to counterbalance the challenges they present. Regardless,many athlete’s stress levels become increased as they work to maintain their eligibilitywhile still continuing to advance in school.

Many student athletes expressedconcern over having not enough time to study for exams and write term papersthat every other student has. Team travel was also cited as a big stress factorbecause of the amount of missed classes and assignments. The biggest impactfrom sports and school is the impact on the student’s GPA, “theyfind negative GPA impacts for student-athletes. This negative effect is largerfor “marquee” sport athletes, American football and basketball players, withthese negative impacts being even larger during the sports season” (Wesley, 2011).It is more difficult maintaining a high GPA and continuing to excel in sportsas well. Some students lose track of their academics as they are mainly focusedon the sport they went to that specific school to participate in. Also, anotherfactor is that student-athletes chose schools based on their athletics nottheir academics.

They chose the school that is recruiting them, or the school thatthey find has a better athletic program, when they should be focusing on theacademics and what they can study while they are in their four years of school.Studies also show that “larger GPA deficits for athletes participating inmarquee sports and lesser academically qualified athletes being more likely tochange majors” (Wesley 2011). It is the same in high school, participating in athletics in high school tends to keepstudent-athletes in school and leads them to participate in otherextracurricular activities and makes them feel more popular than non-athletes,it has virtually no immediate effect on academic achievement for most students.And it has even less impact on their later success in college and the workforce. Playing sports can become quite damaging to students when they are takentoo seriously and people start to write off their limits. It is said that duringthe younger years sports are important because it teaches kids about teamwork,responsibility, dedication and self-motivation.

Athletes have a difficult taskand that is finding a way to manage their time properly by balancing sports andacademics. They need to keep up with their priorities and avoid negativeeffects, or it will hurt them in the long run both in their sport and in theclassroom.  However, most students do notknow how to manage this time, they are more focused on their sport which leadsthem to forget that they have other responsibilities which includes theirschool work.

 Method:Research conducted through a 10questions survey that was sent out via email to a bunch of random people (athletesand non-athletes) throughout Kean University. Students spared 5 minutes out oftheir day to complete the survey for this study. The response rate on thesurvey was not completely 100% but it was not too far off.  The questions for this study were fairlygeneric. The first two questions were general, demographic questions used toget an idea of the of the identity of the whole group. The next 8 questionsrelated more to the study at hand. The first question of the next 8 was just askingstudents whether they were an athlete or not, this just gives more informationto relate athletes to when it comes to their academics. The next threequestions show the correlation between student’s GPAs and the amount of creditsthey are taking and if there is a correlation with the season their sport isin.

The following two questions go hand in hand. The ask students to saywhether they think sports have an effect on students grades and whether theyanswer yes or no to elaborate and explain why they think that. This gives realopinions from participants on what they feel the correlation of sports andacademics is. Results:             The goal was to get around 30responses from students around Kean University, both athletes and non-athletes.

Only about 20 people had participated in this experiment. Below are the resultsfrom this study. Table 1: Demographics of surveyparticipants including gender and age. Gender   Percent Male 7 35% Female 13 65% Age     17-20 12 60% 21-24 6 30% 24-27 2 10% Table 1 shows the results to the two demographicquestions pertaining to the survey’s participants. The people who partook inthe survey were 65% female at 13 people, and 35% male at 7 people. The age ofthe individuals varied with 12 participants being 12-20, 6 people being betweenthe ages of 21 and 24 and 2 people between the ages of 24 and 27.Figure 1: Percentages at people believeif sports play a part in academic performance.  Twenty student athletes were asked if they agreedor disagreed on whether their involvement in sports played a part in theiracademic success.

The results revealed that 15 people agreed or said “yes” tothe question, 5 said “maybe”. The results are shown in Figure 1. Figure 2: Responses to why theythink sports play a part in academics.

Becauseyou have less time to do school work. Sports require students tobe on top of their work more Keeps thebrain active Playing sports could affectyour academicsKeeps youfocused and occupied throughout the dayKeep me on track, timemanagement correlationbetween busy schedules and good gradesEffects your grades poorlyItmotivates me to get my work done. It makes us more organizedand helps us do better in school. There is something to strive for.Stayingfocused helps with time management they arehelp to a higher standard you have required studyhall hours and a certain gpa you need requiredgpacould keep you motivated todo wellAbove are the responses that students had whenasked to explain why they felt sports played a part in academic success. Figure 3: Percentage of hours thatstudent-athletes feel that they devote to their athletic commitments.

   The student-athletes were asked to specify theapproximate time per week they devote to their athletic activities such aspractice, games, film and training room needs per week (Figure 2). Three peoplespend “6-9 hours” between commitments, 7 devote “10- 13,” 2 expend “13+ hours,”and 8 people were not athletes. Figure 4: Percentage of timethat is devoted to academic work      The students were also asked to state how manyhours they devote to academics per week. Ten athletes spend “6-8” hours onhomework, 5 devote “3-5,” 3 spend “0-2,” and 2 devote “8+” to academic work. Figure 5: Percentage of GPAsamong the students    When the students were asked about their currentgrade point average, one answered “2.0-2.5,” five answered “2.

5-3.0,” fourteenanswered “3.0 and up”.Discussion:Many different conclusions weredrawn between the literature and the survey results that were found from thisstudy.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of the involvementin athletics at the collegiate level. The results were from the view of the studentsand were conducted so one could figure out the positive and negative effects ofbeing involved in athletics. For the most part, results from student athletesagreed with the scholarly research that was cited in the literature review. Ipredicted that more people would think that sports had a positive effect onacademic success. In this study, more people did believe that sports effectedacademic success and by the looks of the single open-ended question they allbelieved to have had positive feedback on the correlation. There were some thatthought the effects were negative and many studies that I looked at also showedmany negative points. Thus, the hypothesis I believe was partially supported. Limitations:            Thereare many limitations to the study conducted about the effects of athletics onacademic performance.

First, only 20 people completed this survey after sendingout to around 75 people. Having more people answer would have made the resultsa little better and given more of a range in responses. Another limitation fromthis study is that students that did respond could have not been totally honestabout their GPAs or the amount of time they spend on their schoolwork or theamount of time spend on athletic commitments.

The last limitation that cameabout was only students from Kean University were sent the survey. Surveyingathletes and non-athletes from different universities would have provided moreof an insight into how other schools function when it comes to their athleticsand academics. For future studies, it would benefit to send the survey todifferent universities in different divisions of athletics across a wider rangeof sports. This would provide a stronger response and a bigger difference theliterature review and the responses from the survey.

 

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