Curriculum meets extracurricular.

A typical day for a student athlete goes like this; wake up way too early, work hard at school for eight hours with five minute breaks, then head to practice. This type of schedule is both physically and mentally draining even without two hours of homework at the end of the day, which is a common occurrence for me as a baseball player. If this essay had been assigned two weeks ago, I would have had been writing it after a three hour practice that consists of killers, running bases, footwork in the field, and hitting. Despite this system being in place for a while, it doesn’t have to be this way. One idea that has been circulating is cutting homework altogether for student athletes (I even saw a petition on twitter). However, even though less homework would give me some additional PlayStation time after practice, there are a few compelling reasons why this notion to cut homework for student athletes should be shot down.

First of all, cutting homework for student athletes is completely unfair to other students. Not only does it show favoritism to conventional extracurriculars by only recognizing a very small genre of hobbies, it leaves other students doing hours of homework that athletes don’t have to do. Play rehearsal can be just as valuable and time consuming as football practice and the star of the show should not have to do a practice IB test if the star quarterback doesn’t have to.

Second, although it seems like student athletes grades would be helped by the premise, this might not be the case. Less homework means less practice on material, weaker study habits, and lack of cushion points in the grade book. In my math class, for example, I would most definitely fail every test if I wasn’t required to practice problems repeatedly and as a below average test taker would have a lower grade if I didn’t turn in my homework for full points. As for study habits, these would more so play a role in college, but without good work ethic it will take a toll eventually considering most high school student athletes won’t play at a college level and won’t be subject to homework cuts even if colleges did follow suit.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:8520015

The main argument for cutting homework for student athletes is that they do not have enough time to do it and that they should be rewarded for participating in school activities. This argument is invalid; student athletes have been balancing school and sports forever and sports are already rewarding participants in non-academic ways (life skills and are recognized positively by colleges).


Conclusions

As a student athlete, I feel as though my opinion to not support cutting homework is more than valid, I should be biased towards cutting it for my own sake, but despite my own self interest the cons far outweigh the pros. Student athletes grades would fall and resentment from the student body might result. I’ll do my homework and let my PlayStation collect dust until summer time.


Sources

“Typical Day for a High School Student — I CAN SCHOOLS.” Typical Day for a High School Student — I CAN SCHOOLS. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2015.

Martin, Ian. “Athlete First, Student Second: Examining the Life of an Iowa Student-athlete — The Daily Iowan.” Athlete First, Student Second: Examining the Life of an Iowa Student-athlete — The Daily Iowan. N.p., 22 Apr. 2013. Web. 08 June 2015.

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