The Problem with Team Sports and School

Is too much emphasis being put on students who join the schools sports teams? Why are they so heavily favored over intellectual students?

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Today there is a “Pep Rally” at my daughters school. It got me thinking, should so much school time, funds, and energy be spend on what is really, an extra-circular activity?

Pep Rallies, for those unfamiliar with the term are supportive get togethers that happen before school, or College, sporting events. They are most common in the United States, Canada, and Belize. At least where I am they happen during regular school time, often taking the whole afternoon. Cheer leading is a major part of the pep rally, and there is a chance to see the team. The idea is to show school spirit, support the team, and ultimately to get more kids to come out to the actual game.

The problem as I see it is that for some kids, organized sports are the bane of their existence. The jocks and the cheerleaders forming the popular crowd, while the brainy kids are labeled geeks, the artistic kids are labeled freaks, and very little support, if any, is given to either of them.

Now without a doubt schools need to pay attention to the physical education of their students. The kids should not be encouraged to be physically lazy. However they should be learning life skills, and cheering at a sporting even is not in any way related to a realistic life skill. To be fair though, nor is trigonometry, which I feel should be left for University.

Team sports in particular are the problem, not physical education. In some cases kids are set up to think their future will be playing in a professional team, but for very few this will become a reality. Most will need jobs, and although schools generally insist students maintain passing grades, they are seldom pushed into pursuing an education in favor of pursuing sports. Nobody is told to quit the team and focus on a career in the sciences, for example, although many more job opportunities exist there.

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What is it really all about?

I imagine at some time the whole push of high school and college level sports was to get more people interested in sports at an early age. That way later in life they will throw away their hard earned dollars and spend money going to sporting events, keeping the players, and all involved, very wealthy in the process.

But again the problem boils down to team sports taking up regular school time and the general emphasis by the school that the people on the sports team are somehow more important, and more worthy of support, than those in the debate club, the ones who will one day enter politics.


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  1. Posted November 12, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    I’ve been ob both sides of this argument to tell you the truth. But I have to agree that many feel left, or they are left feeling even more lonely than before.

  2. Posted November 13, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    You make a good argument, as always, but many a kid would never step into a college classroom had he not excelled in some high school sport.

  3. Posted November 14, 2009 at 4:43 am

    One thing I can say about you is you make a good arugument and bring up interesting points of view. You always give me food for though.

  4. Posted February 3, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Great article, very true!

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