Academic Success Through Athletic Invlolvement Essay

1163 words - 5 pages

In high school I was the most predictable student in the entire student body. When teachers would take roll, they could always count on one thing: me not being there. My grades were horrible. My accumulative grade point average was below 1.0. I had no interest in school and kept junkie friends. These so-called friends would often skip school and would pressure me to do drugs. I was already puffing away on cigarettes by the time my junior year rolled around, and my future looked pretty bleak. During my senior year, I decided it was time for a drastic change. I took a brave step and tried out for the Camas High School Cheerleading Team. I made the team and became a student athlete. I was destined to graduate. Through my experience, I believe that involvement in athletics improves academics by providing students with better physical and mental health, thus insuring the athletic student a successful future.
Indeed, the most obvious advantage to being involved in a sport would be better physical health. Coaches are a wealth of information and are highly dedicated to their jobs. They become closely involved in the student, just as a parent would be, and their ultimate goal is fitness. My cheerleading coach was a shining example of an ideal coach. Each day at practice, our coach would give us handouts that detailed the exercises each girl needed to do at home, as well as nutritional information. At practice, we were expected to do the same warm-up drills that the football players did. Typically, the drills included sit-ups and push-ups. We even lifted weights to further tone our bodies. All of these simple things taught me how to discipline myself both physically and mentally, because I had to push my body and mind each day. Constantly reminding myself that I could do it, I had to ignore my body wanting to give up. By doing this, I learned determination, hard work and how to set obtainable, personal goals. At the very end of each practice, we would all meet in the gym. This time was used to reflect on our choices, to discuss our physical and nutritional concerns, and share our progress. Having accountability to my team, I found myself motivated to make healthy decisions. I ate healthier meals, exercised regularly and cared more about my body. All of these things were excellent choices, brought to my attention through involvement in athletics.
More importantly, being athletic will lead students to have better mental health as well. To begin with, endorphins are released at a faster rate while working out. To further illustrate, my coach once stated, “Every time you exercise, your engaging your brain. Simultaneously, endorphins are released at a much faster rate than normal. Endorphins are the chemical known to make you happy—the more you have, the happier you are.” Also, my involvement in athletics left me no time to associate with those bad influences. The girls I spent my time with at practices and games were friendly, helpful, attended class...

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