P.E. unnecessary for high school athletes
By Jen Barrientos
Copy Editor
    School sports serve the same purpose as mandatory P.E. classes: they help students exercise and stay healthy. Students participating in school athletics should earn physical education credits for participating. As long as the students are playing for the school and complete the entire season, there isn’t any reason to not be rewarded with credits towards graduation.
    The point of having a full year of mandatory physical education for high school students is to instill students with healthy, active lifestyles. Presumbably, athletes have had prior training to instill this mindset. In order to participate in sports, athletes have to preserve healthy lifestyles.
    Putting a student into a physical education class during school hours before they attend practice is pointless. All it does is exhaust that particular student before having them exercise more, especially on game days. Players need to be at the top of their game so that they may contribute positively to their team. Do schools really want their athletes to be worn out before they play a match? Going into a game exhausted only limits the athlete’s ability to perform at their best.
    Schools in both Michigan and California have reportedly offered P.E credit for one term of athletic participation or two terms of marching band. These schools recognize school athletics as being more than just after-school activites. They find them important enough to award credits towards graduation for athletes.
    Athletes already exercise the needed amount for staying healthy. For some, doing more than they need may only increase their chances of getting injured. This would decrease their ability to participate in a sport and be able to help the school team win. Often times, things such as muscle strains need any extra resting time to stop them from getting worse. P.E. teachers don’t always understand this and usually don’t allow athletes to sit out because the student feels as if they may be overworking themselves.
    Sports can be very strenuous on the body. Furthermore, athletes who are injured and choose not to participate in P.E. in order to get better often lose class participation points. This is unfair; they shouldn’t be penalized for taking care of their injuries.
    Many P.E. teachers dock participation credit because they think that students are faking injuries.  Athletes have no reason to fake injuries; in reality, they are just trying to maintain their active status.
    Not only do athletes put forth tons of effort during the season, but also do so during pre-season training. Sports, like soccer, football, and volleyball, have daily doubles before the season starts.This is done to get the athletes in shape.
    Many athletes consider daily doubles to be the hardest part of the season. For two weeks, players are put through workouts for approximately four hours a day.
    On the other hand, it would be difficult to give letter grades for school sports. Physical education classes are based on letter grades. How would a sport be graded? This is one of the problems that     surrounds the idea of having athletics count for school credit. Another issue is the idea of whether or not it is  fair to other students for athletes to not have to take a P.E. class. Some would argue that it would be giving special treatment to athletes or discriminating against those who lack athletic ability.
    Schools and teachers against such a policy should consider how hard athletes work and how much effort they put into their respective sport. Not only should they be more considerate, but they should also reward those student athletes for positively representing their school through athletics. This could not only promote participation in extracirricular athletics, but it also can help students learn the healthy lifestyle that physical education classes teach in an envrioment outside of academics.