This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.
"My son loves playing hockey we have used his love of the sport to help drive his performance in the classroom. Overall he is a good student but recently he has been receiving poor grades. Our initial reaction is that he should not participate in extra curricular activities this spring and should focus on school. My concern is that if we take away the thing that he loves he may rebel and check out all together. Any thoughts on how to encourage him to go the extra mile in the classroom like he does on the ice without completely deflating him?"
PCA Response By Ray Lokar, PCA Trainer – Los Angeles
The balance between academics and athletics is often difficult. The term "student-athlete" reminds us which role to emphasize.
Many people view "extra-curricular activities" as a hindrance to academic achievement, rather than as complementary or even a key driver of academic success. The misconception that sports are “extra” is at the heart of this sentiment, as though anything “extra" must conflict with activities that are “necessary.” Meanwhile, many schools that treat sports as CO-curricular (rather than extra-curricular) help students excel academically and athletically.
Counter-intuitively and contrary to what many people think, numerous studies show student-athletes perform better in the classroom during their season of sport -- when they need to manage their time -- than in the off-season when they feel like they have more free time.
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