Students Spend Too Much Time In High School Sports Compared To College Prep

December 7th, 2011

Will Fitzhugh, The Concord Review

I recently received a history paper submitted by a high school Junior who was kind enough

to enumerate the hours he has spent on athletics in a recent year:Football: 13 hours a week, 13 weeks per year. (169 hours),Basketball: 12 hours a week, 15 weeks per year. (180 hours)

Lacrosse: 12 hours a week, 15 weeks per year. (180 hours)

Sumer Lacrosse: 10 hours per week, 15 weeks per year. (150 hours)

This yields a total, by my calculations, of

169 + 180 + 180 hours = 529 hours + 150 in the summer, for a new total of 679 hours.

We are told that there is no time for high school students to write serious history research papers, which they need to do to prepare themselves for college academic requirements. It seems likely that this young man will be better prepared in athletics than in academics.  If it were considered important for all students to read history books and to write a serious history research paper, 679 hours (84 eight-hour days) might just be enough for them to manage that.

This particular young man made the time on his own to write a 28-page history research paper with a bibliography and 107 endnotes and submit it to The Concord Review, but this was not his high school requirement.

 

Tags:

2 Responses

  1. Julia says:

    An interesting premise, with two glaring problems: one, there is no estimate of how much time this student spends on school, for a comparison. Two, this is an atypical case of a four-season athlete. Just wanted to throw that out there.

  2. Linda says:

    Interesting comparison. As a former high school principal, I can verify that indeed the amount of time high school athletes spend is substantial. I wonder though if writing scholarly papers would be the likely alternative or rather video games and television. The greater concern is the imbalance in our high school cultures, where athletic prowess is highly prized not just by students and parents, but too often by principals as well. Sports impacts hiring, student priorities and many levels of decision making.

    Sports has much that is positive to offer students. I question though whether we want our schools hosting the teams. In Europe, civic clubs assume this responsibility, minimizing the negative impact on learning in schools.

Leave a Reply