Many parents, teachers, and coaches wonder about the true link between playing sports at school and grades. Some believe that playing sports at school affect grades negatively, while others believe it affects grades positively. Typically, the effect playing school sports has on grades depends on the situation.
School Sport Requirements
Many schools require students to have a certain GPA if they want to participate in school sports. These schools believe that participating in sports is a privilege, definitely not a right.
Low-achieving children who are very passionate about sports will likely put more effort into their schoolwork and will study more, so they can achieve the GPA necessary to partake in school sports. Likewise, high-achieving children will continue to work hard in school, so they can maintain the GPA necessary to play school sports.
After taking up school sports, many teachers and parents report increased responsibility shown by the student. When students have sports after school, they quickly realize that procrastinating on schoolwork and studying is no longer an option, especially if they want to keep their grades up.
Students learn to take advantage of all the free time available. They begin the habit of going home and doing homework immediately and getting work done when they can. Instead of fooling around in class or talking with their friends, students focus more in class so they can be as productive as possible.
All this leads to better grades on assignments and assessments, and better grades and higher GPAs in general.
Heavy Work Loads
No matter how hard a student tries, school sports are very likely to lower the grades of students who have very heavy workloads. Students with AP or IB classes typically receive many hours of homework every night. School sports tend to take up a lot of student’s time after school, which leaves less time for them to complete homework and study for their challenging classes.
These students only have two options. They can either go to sleep early without doing all their homework and studying, resulting in low grades on assignments, quizzes, and tests. Or, they can stay up late doing schoolwork and studying, leading to lower performance at school and in sports.
For most students, playing sports causes them to make form more relationships with different students. Especially for students who previously had little to no friends, participating in school sports give students friends to turn to when they need help on assignments and studying.
For example, after joining a school sport, a student who’s failing chemistry may make friends with a chemistry genius. After every practice, this student may be able to get chemistry tutoring from his friend. This tutoring will likely lead to improved grades in chemistry for this student.
Many friends, or even groups of friends, tend to engage in friendly competition. While these feelings of competition may never leave the playing field, it may extend to performance at school as well.
Competition encourages children to work harder in school to do better than their friends, or at least keep up with them, since nobody wants to be seen as the “stupid” one in the group. Of course, too much competition is never good, as it has the potential to ruin perfectly good relationships.
As you can see, playing sports at school can have a major effect on grades. The effect on grades can be positive, as school sports enable kids to become more responsible and manage their time better. It also fosters competition, which improves grades. However, school sports can also have a negative affect on grades, especially when it comes to the students with heavy workloads like AP and IB kids.
About the author:
Anna writes for Allpro’s blog about all sports and sports reviews.