Building the Academics-Sports Connection
The perfect match-up
The 2012 World Series is over, though the NFL season is well under way. But it was the 2012 London Olympics—the most-watched Olympic games in history—that got me thinking about sports and students.
In the United States, sports take center stage in prime-time television programming, and Americans of all ages tune in. As schools struggle to raise graduation rates and look for alternative ways to enrich curriculum and improve student health, they should take a moment to consider the Olympics and other competitions. The Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and other ancient peoples knew the value of sports. Exercise is as old as humanity itself. If sports were so important among ancient cultures and continue to be in the 21st century, why don't schools do more to incorporate them into their curricula?
The Greeks of the classical age understood the importance of physical activity and the cultivation of the mind. The Lyceum was more than just a place where the Greeks exercised—it was a place where the concept of balancing the physical with the mental evolved: "Spirit healthy, body healthy." Thus, there has to be a strong connection between academic achievement and athletic participation. Athleticism not only motivates students to stay in school, but it also keeps them healthy. The United States has a major problem with obesity; increasing students' dose of exercise will improve their bodies which, in turn,...
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