High School Sports and Academic Success Does playing sports impact a students academic Success?

School Sports have become very popular in the recent years because it allows high school teams establish their dominance and position between the other competing high schools. The issue that is commonly brought up is about the impact that high school sports have on a student athlete's academic success.Through my research, I have created my thesis statement and proceeded to do the research on it. The thesis that I made my research on was "School sports do have a positive impact a student athlete’s academic success."


When looking at the different benefits that sports have on a student, one needs to look at the mental benefits as well as how their work habits are effected. Some people see that school sports do not benefit a student because they can negatively impact a student physically. Through other research, sports have been seen to improve cognitive functions because a student is keeping their body active. Also, a student’s work and study habits became better because if they want to continue playing sports, they need to keep their grades up. With that time management comes into play because a student will have their schedule packed since they are playing sports. Not only that, sports help build a student’s skills that play a role in their future. And finally, high school sports have an impact on graduation rates for student athletes.

Negative Impacts of Playing Sports

Of the little opposing views about sports, injuries are the most used view because sports can lead to injuries if one is not careful. According to Winkel, he states that a student is prone to injuries no matter what sport they are playing (Winkel). This can be anything from a minor concussion to broken bones or torn ligaments. When playing sports, anyone is prone to injuries which can range from something small like a sprained wrist, to something serious like a concussion. No matter the injury, a students' work ability in school can and will be affected which can cause the quality of the work to decrease.

Impacts on Cognitive Function

The more a student is being active in some physical activity, the more active their brain will be. The article also mentioned that “Organized sports activity helps children develop and improve cognitive skill” (“Sports Activity and Children”). High School sports will help build up an athletes focus ability as well as their cognitive ability. This will help the students preform better on their work and it would also help them during testing situations. Another researcher also said “reported a positive correlation between students who participated in high levels of physical activity and improved academic achievement” (Merkel). This, in fact, proves that there is a positive correlation between sports and academic success. This means that the students who play sports will do better in school which can lead to academic success.

Work and Study Habits

Study and work habits play an important role in how well a student does in school. The only way a student can be eligible to play sports is by having good grades, which cannot happen if the student has poor work and study habits.With improved cognitive function comes good work and study habits that school sports help build. In a research done by Dr. Bruce J. Bukowski, the minimum GPA a student could have and still participate in sports, in some states, was a 2.5 (Dr. Bukowski). This GPA is not hard to maintain and is easy to achieve higher because it is roughly a B-. In order to stay above the requirements, a student must study hard for their exams and do the homework that is assigned. Not only does the student have to study hard, but they have to learn how to study properly because anyone can just read over their notes or look into a textbook. A student must learn these and work hard to achieve and maintain a higher grade. From personal experience when I played football, I learned that putting more effort into schoolwork pays off because I was able to practice and play in games. Over time, I learned how to study efficiently and complete my work quickly in a way that was organized and neat. Though sports I learned the value of putting effort into anything I do.

Impact on Time Management and Future Skills

Time management is another important factor that a student athlete must think about. When I played football, I had my entire schedule filled to the point where there was only time for school work. I had to learn quickly on how to manage my time that way I had time to go to choir practice and attend youth services at my church. Time management played an important role in what got completed after practice. Many of my team member were also in the same situation and they had to juggle around with time in order to complete the important activities and work that they had. What worked best for me was creating a list of what I needed to complete for the day, this meant I had to exclude some activities like hanging out with friends or watching Netflix. Many other students who play sports take in the fact that sports take up time and time management is important. They either learn to manage it wisely and have stress-free days, or they end up having more stress because they need to stay up late to finish their work.

The skills that a student learns in high school will be remembered and used in their future. Even Robert Putnam, a renown Harvard scientist, argues that “High schools began adding sports and other extracurricular activities a century ago to instill soft skills -- self-discipline, teamwork, leadership, strong work habits” (qtd. in Sharp and Johnson). All these skills are needed in the workforce, no matter where a person works. Not only that, these skills can help a student succeed in college because self-discipline and strong work habits will be useful when it comes to studying or doing homework. Also, students who play sports have better attendance, higher test scores, lower dropout rates which lead to higher graduation rates (KU News). All these achievements can be done if a student has gained the skills mentioned above. This means that sports play a key role in teaching the students these skills that can lead them to academic success.


There are many things that can be learned through high school sports, that's what makes it a community literacy.What community literacies help do is prepare a student for their future life through the coaching they get and through the personal experiences that they go through. playing high school sports has an impact on how well a student does in school, and it also prepares them for their future careers. That is why playing high school sports is closely connected to community literacies.

Sports help build a student athlete to make then successful in life by teaching them about leadership, teamwork, self-discipline, and good work habits. A sport builds a student up to be successful in a way that helps them do well in school and improve mentally. In the end, sports might have some small negative effects, but those arguments are usually supported with weak evidence. Through my research on this topic I came out with even more information that I came I with. Most of the evidence that I have collected supports my thesis with evidence and I conclude that sports do, in fact, benefit the success of a student athlete and their academic success. School sports help a student build many skills that will improve their academic success. Not only that their cognitive function improves which also plays a factor in how they do in school as well as how successful they end up. In the end, it is best to allow a student to get involved in sports because it increases their chance of being successful academically and in life.

Works Cited

Dr. Bukowski, Bruce. “A Comparison of Academic Athletic Eligibility in Interscholastic Sports in American High Schools”. The Sport Journal. February 14, 2008. http://thesportjournal.org/article/a-comparison-of-academic-athletic-eligibility-in- interscholastic-sports-in-american-high-schools/. Accessed on Oct. 30, 2016

Facts: Sports Activity and Children. Project Play. The Aspen Institute. 2016. www.aspenprojectplay.org/the-facts. Accessed on Oct. 27, 2016.

Merkel, Donna L. “Youth Sport: Positive and Negative Impact on Young Athletes.” Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine 4 (2013): 151–160. PMC. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

Sharp, Brian, and James Johnson. "Seeking Success through Sports." Rochester Democratand Chronicle: 1. Jul 25 2015. ProQuest. Web. Accessed on 30 Oct. 2016

Study Shows High School Athletes Perform Better in School, Persist to Graduation More Than Non-athletes. KU News. January 24, 2014. https://news.ku.edu/2014/01/15/study-shows-high-school-athletes-performed-better-school-persisted-graduation-more-non. Accessed on Oct. 29, 2016.

Winkel, Brian. Can Playing High School Sports have Negative Effects?. The Tiger Hi-Line Online. Dec. 12, 2012. www.hiline.cfschools.org/2012/12/can-playing-high-school-sports-have-negative-effects/. Accessed on Oct. 27, 2016.

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