Sports Participation and Academic Success

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Sports Participation and Academic Success Kurtis Arnold Grand Valley State University As an increasingly relevant part of society, sports seem to find a way into many parts of our everyday lives from the global stage to our own individual experiences and feelings towards them. Not only are sports and athletic competition used for the purpose of entertaining, but the core values of athletic competition are reflected also in the mainstream cultural values in society (Snyder & Spreitzer, 1974). Some of these values include striving for excellence, fair play, sportsmanship, hard work, and commitment to a goal, and all are applauded in virtually every area in society outside of sports. Another interesting point to be made about…show more content…
In contrast, an experimental study would have to offset these variables through random selection, and random assignment to conditions. Both of these processes require a large population in order to truly eliminate these confounding variables. It is for these reasons, among others, that research on the topic of sports participation and academic outcomes remains in its early stages of development, and tend to rely heavily on the analysis of data. Although the research on the relationship between athletics and academic outcomes remain in its early stages, current research has made important contributions to our understanding of how participation in sports may have an impact on academic outcomes. One such interesting finding from the research is that in general, an extremely few number of students participate in organized sports (Jordan, 1999). According to the National Educational Longitudinal Study conducted in 1988 (NELS: 88) only about 21% of students participated in teams sports, and 15% of students were involve in individual sports when students who participated in both team and individual sports were included. This finding suggests that whatever impact sports participation may have on students’ academic outcomes, very few students have the opportunity to receive these benefits. Jordan (1999) also found that
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