Trends in High School Athletics
Trends in High School Athletics
In school, children are exposed to different activities such as sports, dancing and even games through their psychical education. With this subject, children are able to communicate and interact with other people through games and competitions. Also, these activities do not only enhance their physical skills but also their social skills because of the interactions that happen among them as well as the relationships formed among students and their teachers / instructors. These activities have also been a way of expressing themselves.
Movements just like in a dance, they are able to portray different roles and show different strengths and power. Thus, for some, the sport, dance, or game they play help reflect who they are by means of their levels of performance on it. For some, these activities are called or part of their physical education but for some, it a part of their athletics class. Physical education is being defined as a process of learning that makes use of physical activities for people to have and obtain skills, knowledge, fitness and attitudes that are factors for their health and development.
It is also a training and development for the human body that involves athletics and hygiene (Wordnet). In this way, they are also able to build their personality and character. On the other hand, athletics is simply known as a collection of events of sports (Wikipedia 2007). Therefore, an “athletics class” is often understood being a class that teach or provides students different kinds of sports and how they are played and done.
Researchers have shown that those students who participate in these kinds of activities or athletics, delinquency and drop-outs lessen – having positive effects on students (Landers & Landers, 1978; Otto and Alwin, 1973). And so, with these pleasant impacts on students, athletics has been a reason for schools to spend more time and money on it. Considering how schools spend for their athletes, different issues then arise. These issues include how schools manage and handle their funds and / or budgets, how they buy and make use of different facilities and many other concerns about athletes and their training.
Budget and Facilities Athletics have an array of results from bringing a university international and national recognitions and having more donations to spending large amounts of money and different resources that is not directed on academic interests and then later on being a ‘commercialized monster’. It has been a way of how schools set new standards on a sport, how the school’s name are identified and recognized in a state, country or even internationally speaking (Shulman & Bowen, 2001) High school and college sports increase their costs millions of dollars every year to operate.
But the issue here is whether these sports bring enough worth and value to the schools to makeup for their costs (Noll, 1999). This goes the same for the question whether the effects of spending such budgets are positive of negative. Several studies tried to find a correlation between the fundraisings of schools and athletics. And results showed that, those schools with winning athletic programs give more interest and much pride with the organization that turned into increase levels of donations or sponsors to support the athletes and an increase to the school’s general finance (Shulman & Bowen, 2001).
As what was previously been stated, high school and college varsity teams spend up to millions of dollars annually just to continue their operations. And because of the expensive need to train and develop their athletes, coaches and school administrators are obliged to spend an equal or even greater amount for them for transporting them to the competition venue, as well as during the competition proper. One issue coaches and school administrations alike face is the expenses that varsity teams have during the sport season.
The expenses are comprised of the fuel consumed by the transport vehicles and other miscellaneous expenses such as the salary for the drivers, food and water expenses as well. In the state of Idaho, one of the most salient issues about high school sports is the increasing price rates of fuel in the market (Davis, Roman & Trotter, 2007). Although schools own vehicles that these varsity teams can use when travelling to competitions, still, they need to purchase fuel. Those schools that do not have their own sports facilities are obliged to have their varsity teams travel to places that have available facilities.
The main problem regarding this issue that is faced by coaches and school administrators is that the government only gives the school a limited allocation for their annual budget. And this also makes schools have a hard time to employ new coaches because some schools tend to ask some financial help from their coaches. This financial limitation makes it difficult for the school administrators to set up modern multi million dollar facilities that would serve not only their varsity teams, but also their students in general.
Therefore, spending on a multi million dollar sports facility would mean a large sudden loss to the school’s budget allocation. Also, spending on a sports facility would mean more expenses for the school. There would be a possibility that during the time the sports facility is still being put up that the varsity teams would need to train for their upcoming competitions, which entails that the school would spend on two things at a time. One good thing about a school constructing its own sports facility would be there would be fewer expenses for the transportation in the future.
Also, another positive effect would be the safety of the varsity team members, because they will be taken safely away from the possibilities of having travel accidents. Another thing is that, there would be more time for them to train and develop their skills even more, because they would have the leisure of training, instead of using the time for travelling. Most schools nowadays have available facilities for their athletes just like, courts, tables (for tennis, chess, etc. ), gymnastics mats, rings, and so on. Designs of these facilities have profound impacts on how students would learn and how they could serve their communities.
These amenities help strengthen the relationships of their people towards their environment and themselves. Thus, implementation of the new ideas regarding the growth and development and its facilities are now taking place (Kirk & Ward, 2000). However, the statement must have been a claim of corporations, though this may be true, they are still looking for benefits from these students wherein the bottom line concerns financial gain as well as visibility of their corporate through the said students. And so, athletic administrators are advised to community and charitable concerns.
They must also agree on what corporations are apt for an athletic program of high schools (Overton, 2005). Problems regarding the issues on high school athletics can be prevented in different ways by the athletic administrator. These are (Overton, 2005): 1. investigating thoroughly on the corporation; who and what the corporation can provide 2. to know the missions and the objectives of the corporation regarding any transactions or contracts that would be made 3. to know who makes decisions in the corporation 4. reading and understanding the contract 5.
have other options if the corporation backed out in order to avoid stress and any further problem 6. to know who the decision makers of the school’s are like the school board, council etc. 7. to form well-rounded leaders of committees who can later make their own decisions as leaders to help improve the community 8. and to check all possible options in decision making processes Sport Programming Physical activities of a person increased while sport programs grew and had interests on health fitness making recreational sports more than just and ordinary intramural sport (Lewis, Jones, Lamke & Dunn, 1998).
Recreational sports programs in most campuses suggest a range of sports and fitness programs for students, faculty, staff and other people as well. These sports also help in the development of an individual’s well-being, personality, and character on how he or she looks at life. The programs offered in the United States may include recreational sport options such as (Lewis, Jones, Lamke & Dunn, 1998): • Intramural Sports. • These are competitive sports for students that usually exclude the varsity players and athletes. • Sports Clubs.
• These are clubs or organizations made for students who are not on the level of varsity athletes but would want to compete against other teams from other schools or campuses. There are times that clubs are awarded and made as varsity teams making them possible to compete with other varsity teams from other schools as well. • Fitness Programming. • This program offers students activities that involve rigorous exercises that make use of different highly structured equipments and facilities. Also, this program may combine the expertise of different campuses to give such program.
• Informal Recreation. • Students in this kind of program participate in different self-directed activities. Examples of these activities are swimming, billiards, weightlifting, jogging, volleyball, basketball or even general exercise. Sport and fitness instructions, outdoor programs and leadership programs, rope courses, extramural (meaning, something that could be done outside a certain institution) competitions for teams and an array of special events are also offered by recreational sport departments. In this way, the students, faculty and the people alike are entertained with activities.
Other Plans / Strategies Trainers and athletes came to a point wherein they realized that physical skills are not enough for them to achieve their goals; they need psychological skills as well (Knuger, 1987; Martens, 1987; Orlick, 1980). The use of these psychological skills can help the team to have more chances of winning and to help athletes to develop as better individuals. There are five main psychological skills: (1) imagery, (2) the psychic energy, (3) stress management, (4) attentional and, (5) goal setting (Martens, 1987).
Imagery is considered to be the building block for any further development of psychological skills and then afterwards, goal setting skills are being taught. In this way, athletes are able to see the outcome of their goals. Also through this process, athletes learn to divert their attention from winning per se to their performance goals instead. Then afterwards, they are able to deal with their anxiety, self-esteem and concentration (Manzer, 1987; Martens 1987). The so-called mental imagery is a form of simulation.
Thus, studies had it that the longer athletes are engaged with such practice, the better athletes become on their particular sport (Nideffer, 1985). Time is a very important factor here. The more time spent on practicing a particular skill in a particular sport, the more skillful the athletes would get. When the school of a particular varsity team has its own training and practicing facility, it would lessen the time the athletes would need to travel for training and practicing on another training facility.
Aside from time, the quality of practice should also be considered as a defining factor in the performance of an athlete. Mental imagery can help an athlete reach hi full potential because not only does it increase his capacity of thinking for several options would also be greatly developed. There is no particular correct way of practicing using mental imagery. There are those that imagine themselves during a game using the third person perspective, as if the athlete is watching a video of himself / herself.
With this method, the athlete would be able to “see” how he moves in accordance to other individuals inside the field. On the other hand, one disadvantage of this method would be the individual would not be able to focus on thinking about how he would execute the possible options he / she would get during the game. Another method of practicing mental imagery would be viewing the game from the inside out. This way, the individual would be able to imagine, rethink, refine, and execute the options and plans with better accuracy.
Also, the individual athlete would have the chance of refining trivial moves and “experience” the situation first hand. However, this method is only advantageous to individual sports, because it focuses on how an individual would perform, while the latter method would be advantageous for team sports (Hughes, 1990). However, having their own facility is not enough. The school should also provide for the needs of the athletes in the microlevel. They should also give the athletes a few incentives for being athletes.
Athletes who excel in their particular sport should be given awards or given recognition. Having this kind of award system may make the athletes strive to excel in their sport. Awards tend to help individuals reach their goals by bringing the competition nearer to the self concept of the person. On the other hand, other athletes who do not excel enough in their sport, but are very willing to train and compete for the name of the school should also be given the right recognition. This way, they would feel that what they are doing for the name of the school is not definitely in vain.
Also, doing so may push individuals who have very competitive personalities to strive more, thus achieve more than what they have achieved in the past. Another important skill that an athlete needs to develop would be stress management (Martens, 1987). Being a student and an athlete both at the same time would be very stressful for an individual because these two contexts produce different stress types. Being a student means having academic work loads, obligations such as going to class, and being able to pass an academic year.
Being an athlete on the other hand means being obliged to practice and perform well for the school and individual’s name. Also, because the varsity team is only under the academic context, school athletes still have the obligations and responsibilities an ordinary student has. Being subject to these kinds of physical and mental pressure, a school athlete must develop skills that would help him / her manage and release stress in a safe and efficient way. One way of releasing stress would be engaging in a sport, and because athletes are already engaged in a sport of their choice, they would not have any problems about this.
Using a Freudian perspective, it was said that releasing stress through various physical activities is a good way of releasing stress because it is a way of letting the aggressive part of the person out. Sports, having its very physical nature, is a very good way of releasing stress because it does not only help the individual release stress, but also develop his / her physique. References Davis, D. , Roman, M. and Trotter J. (2007). Key high school issues around the nation. Statesman. com. Retrieved July 25, 2007 from, http://www.
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