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Should Student Athletes be required to take gym?

Robert Valeri and Sara Rodia

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The normal student at Shelton High School spends 7:25 to 2:10 in school and receives around an average of 3.5 hours of homework each night, if not more. However, while most students head home after the bell rings at 2:10, student athletes stick around school for two to three more hours.

Practicing around 12 hours a week, student athletes clearly get enough physical exercise, so why than are they required to take a gym class? At Shelton High School, students are required to take two years of a gym class that meets every other day. That is about one and a half to two hours of gym every week, time student athletes could be using to complete the homework they do not have time for after school. Having 45 minutes during school to get a head start on homework could be extremely beneficial to student athletes. It would cut down the time spent at home doing homework and allow these students to have more time to sleep at night.

As a student athlete myself, I feel that being required to take gym is a waste of time. In my case, I practice gymnastics for three hours, four days a week, year round in Fairfield, CT. This translates to a half-hour commute to and from practice on top of the three hours of actual practice, a total of four hours every weekday. Having a study hall in place of gym could assist me in completing my homework in a more reasonable time frame.

During their season, athletes also have games and competitions on weekdays, along with practices, limiting their time even more. It would be much more beneficial to student athletes to rest before a big game than tire themselves out by running around and playing games in gym. What if an athlete got hurt running around in gym and was not able to play in the game that night? Gym, for student athletes, is just simply not worth the risk. I could not imagine working to make it to an important meet, such as State Opens, for gymnastics and then have my chances ruined by hurting myself while in gym.

While gym class holds many benefits for some students, it does not hold the same benefits for student athletes.


This question has always been asked and many athletes always deny themselves the opportunity to take gym. I do not agree with this. I am one of the captains of the football team and I am in favor of taking gym and having fun in physical education. On many sport teams across the nation their practices are on a schedule, and every minute of that practice you are doing something and it is very time consuming and tedious on your body and mind. I have always been a big supporter of gym class for a couple of reasons. For one you get to play fun games like hockey, volleyball, etc. Gym class gives your mind a rest and your body. Yes – you’re still putting out energy but it isn’t going to hurt you. Also many of these games that you are playing teach you great life skills such as teamwork, and self discipline.

Many people have a wrong understanding of physical education class, they think it is all running and heavy workouts, but they are wrong, the class has changed. When you are a athlete you are in incredible shape because of the work that you put in; gym shouldn’t “tire” you out, especially since the class is only 45
minutes long and usually athlete’s practices are 2-3 hours. I always look forward to phys ed. because it relieved a lot of stress and when I was finished I felt so much better about myself. Studies show if you put in a
certain amount of physical activity every day it relieves stress and helps the growth of your physical and mental performance. Why only perform physical activity once a day when you can do it twice? Athletes are the
golden standard and to hold that up they need to perform in phys ed as well as sports. Many people in school look up to athletes and if theydon’t do gym class, they will not participate in the class either which is bad for everyone. I believe that athletes should be taking gym and I will continue to take it. In the end it will benefit me.


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Should Student Athletes be required to take gym?