At Air Academy High School, there are a plethora of physical education courses. Rock climbing, dance, racquet sports, hiking and walking, yoga, and many more P.E classes count for a credit to graduate. High school athletes practice and compete vigorously and many have a hard time balancing school and social lives on top of that.
Even so, three semesters of physical education classes are mandatory at AAHS. This means extra physical exhaustion for athletes and is just another stress factor to handle as a teenager. Therefore, students who participate in school sports should receive a physical education credit. Physical education is a vital course taught in high schools, especially for students without the opportunity to be active much at home. With that said, athletes learn just as much or more about PE when on the field, court, or pool.
“The whole point of PE is to keep a student active and healthy. Why can’t athletes be an exception since they are super active?,” junior Kimmie Wurmstein questions.
A key component of playing a competitive sport is recovery. A regular schedule for a high school athlete is overloaded with stress. From daily practices, drilling, games, and tournaments, students who participate in these sports need a break every once in a while. They are not able to rest and recover if they have an extra, unnecessary, and physically demanding thing on their to-do list.
“I am on the varsity Basketball team at Air Academy, and I think that playing the sport deserves a credit. Basketball takes so much more time and effort than a PE class,” junior Grant Featherston noted.
The likelihood of an athlete getting an injury from a physical education course is high and can be detrimental to their sports career. There is no reason to take that kind of risk on a high schooler’s body just so they have enough credits to graduate. Some athletes feel overworked when they have a sport and a PE class in the same semester. The most ironic part of this concept is that high school athletes have to have a certain grade average to play the sport, but if they are overwhelmed will all that is expected of them, it’s nearly impossible to manage.
“It doesn’t make sense to demand athletes to participate in physical education classes when they are doing physical activity daily for their sport,” Chemistry teacher, Rachel Valiquette, explained.
“We spend hours of our week doing physical activities that take away our academic time, so our school time during the day would be better if it wasn’t taken away by required PE classes,” sophomore Morgan Dougherty declared.
AAHS and its sports administration should support these athletes in their opinion to have high school sports as a physical education credit. This way, stronger and faster athletes are made by allowing them to balance out their lives in a healthy way. This does not mean the fundamentals of physical education and activity should not be taught but instead explains that an athlete’s point of view is essential when creating these expectations. Basketball, soccer, football, lacrosse, swimming, and all of the offered sports at AAHS deserve the credit for the hard work the athletes put in.