For groups. (Field, Diego, & Sanders, 2001). Physical activity

For a long time I have wondered if my life long athletic
participation has affected my academic performance. There has been a
significant association between athletics and educational outcomes that has
lead to increased academic achievement (Videon, 2002; Bucknavage & Worrell,
2005) Athletic participation creates positive attitudes and improved
self-esteem (Hanson & Kraus, 1998). On the other hand it also has the
possibility of added stress and distractions to the athletes. This paper will go
over the positive and negative impact on academic performance, and any other
possible gains that are associated with athletic participation.

Starting with the positives, participation in athletics has the
possibility to lead to increased grade point averages. Research has shown that
students who are involved in a school based extracurricular activity such as
athletics are more likely to have a higher academic performance and attainment
(Feldman & Matjasko,2005). Increased neurotransmitters, such as serotonin,
which decreases the feelings of depression and boosts the feeling of happiness
has been linked to being active in high exercise groups. (Field, Diego, &
Sanders, 2001). Physical activity has been linked to many aspects of academic behaviors
like, attention, on-task behavior, planning, organization, and impulse control
(CDC, 2010). Additionally cognitive skills and attitude develop through a
dynamic interaction. Research has shown that physical movement can affect the
brain’s physiology by increasing; cerebral capillary growth, growth of nerve
cells in the hippocampus, development of nerve connections, density of neural
network, and production of neurotrophins (CDC, 2010). The benefits of
participating in extracurricular activates compared to those that do not
participate include lower rates of discipline referrals, a higher grade point
average, less skipping of class, lower rates of students dropping out of
school, learning valuable social and leadership qualities, and it can lead to
more motivation to continue school (Israel, 2013). CDC complied nineteen
studies (reported in 14 articles) and examined the relationship between
involvement in extracurricular physical activity (such as interscholastic
sports or physical activities outside of the regular school day) and academic achievement.

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The information gathered showed that 52% of the associations showed positive
performance, 46 % showed neutral performance and 2% showed a negative
performance. Academic achievement was measured by standardized test scores in
subject areas such as reading, math, and language arts (CDC 2010). The Students
involved in athletics are more likely to see high school preparation for
further their academic development and less likely to see sports as a viable
way of making it through life (Guest & Schneider, 2003). Athletes have significantly
increased social ties with their parents, and increases how often they talk to
their parents about the issues associated with school ( Broh, 2002).

Negative
effects have also been found alongside of the benefits of participating in
athletics. One of which are distractions; numerous students who participate in
athletics are not focused on education. A
commitment to athletics is negatively correlated with athletes GPA’s
(Gaston-Gayles, 2004). Student athletes are focused on the prospect of one day
making a career it into professional sports. Studies done on student athletes
have shown that they have a lot higher GPA’s in-season than out-of season and
their attendance in school was significantly higher during the season (Silliker
& Quirk, 1997)