Academics vs. Sports


IHS girls field hockey team

IHS girls varsity field hockey team (photo taken from ReplayIt-Ipswich Year Book)

Many students reading this article play at least one sport during the school year. Approximately 63% of the student body at Ipswich High participate in a school sport, and for those who don’t play a sport, they are at games/matches/meets cheering on their friends and schoolmates. For those who do play a sport, there may be times when you may question why do you do a sport when school work is overbearing. The goals of this article is to reach into the opinions of many student-athletes and teacher-coaches on how beneficial sports really are.  

When it comes to sports, players invest so much time into practice and games. Athletes get home late and exhausted and immediately have to start working on homework. Whether it be a student in all honors and APs or a student in CP classes, there is still a struggle for many students to get their homework done as well as participate in a sport. Does playing a sport in high school put a strain on these student athletes’ academics? Or are they more well rounded because they have better time management?

Senior soccer players Sydney Doolan and Olivia St.Peter

We asked a pair of student athletes from the girls varsity soccer team what their opinion is on doing sports during the school year and their responses were very interesting. Cate Phypers, who was a captain this year for the Girls Soccer team and is a part of the basketball and track team, shared with us that she believes that doing a sport actually helps her learn how to manage her time. “When the sport is directly after school, it allows me to have a mental break from school so when I go home after the practice I have more motivation to get my homework done.”

Cate sparked the idea to our second interviewee, Lauren Waters, a soccer and track athlete. Lauren has noticed during her sports’ seasons that she gets better grades and her GPA is higher. “Although sports can sometimes cause stress, I seem to work harder in school during sports seasons. When the off season is taking place, I have more trouble managing my time.” From both our student responses, we gathered that students who play a sport learn to manage their time and work harder on the homework because they know they are only given a limited time, while students who do not play a sport struggle with time management and are given too much time for homework, thus getting distracted easier.

Senior quarterback Ben Yanakakis (photo taken from ReplayIt-Ipswich Year Book)

We also asked two of Ipswich High School’s coaches, who also happen to  be teachers at Ipswich high school, to give their opinion on this topic. Coach of the girls varsity soccer team, Mr. Wood, starts off by saying how “sports take up time after school when kids could be doing their homework, but I always found when I was an athlete during my season that I was more efficient with my time.” Mr. Wood leans more toward the side that doing a sport is more beneficial because it makes a student more well rounded and gives people the opportunity to see people who they don’t normally associate with.

The second teacher we interviewed was Mrs. Murphy; she is the coach of the girls varsity field hockey team. Mrs. Murphy began telling us that she “felt like [she] was a better student while in season because it gives her more structure to your day and afternoon where if you know you have 2 or 3 hours dedicated to sports.” She explains that by participating in a sport you learn how to have good time management. She also believes that there are many positives of playing a sport, like staying in shape and socializing and meeting new friends. To add on to her time management idea, Mrs. Murphy adds that “when not in a [sports] season you feel like you have so much time that you find yourself wasting most of it.” Both of the teachers-coaches that we interviewed had many good points to why they understand the struggle of being a student-athlete but also how they believe that playing a sport is more beneficial to you.

By taking the time to interview several different student-athletes and teacher-coaches, we have been able to put together all their opinions and settle on the fact that playing a sport is beneficial to you when it comes to school work, making friends, and staying in shape. Playing a sport in high school allows you to learn how to manage your time, which will come in handy in your future. It may be stressful to balance so many obligations but in the end you are only helping yourself to become a better, more well rounded person.