Spike Your GPA Over the Net!

October 6, 2011
by Justin

You are a sophomore high school volleyball player, and the coach sees your potential to go further. Your grades are average, and volleyball becomes your life. It’s good to be passionate about your talent.


However, your coach says, “I want to send you volleyball camp this summer, because I think it will help you when recruiting season starts to come around.”


And you respond, “I would love that coach. What do I have to do?”


Your coach responds, “How are your grades?”


That’s when you get silent, and respond, “absolutely great.”


Coach, “can you bring them by tomorrows practice?”


You say, “with pleasure.”


At your next practice your coach says, “how did you do getting your grades together?”


You confidently reply, “Here they are, all of them.”


Your coach states, “You’ve really kept up your commitment, congratulations. You’re going to volleyball camp.”


Now I bet you didn’t expect that story to go that smoothly. I bet you thought the volleyball players was going to come back to the coach with terrible news; that the grades had tanked, and they had to get back up, or no volleyball camp. Well, so did I, until I came across something that caught me by surprise. According to NCAA rules, recently in high schools and colleges today the grade point average is a 2.0, especially for incoming freshmen. However, with recent studies on high school, and college student athletes over the past 10 years that standard is pretty low. For instance, studies have shown that student athletes are more prone to healthier habits, community activity, and academic engagement.


With these studies that have wowed the minds of college administrators and counselors, it is not wonder that that volleyball player at the beginning was so happy and confident to release her grades to her coach.


Sounds exceptional? Well let me bring this to mind: with perks comes incentive. What do I mean by that? Well let me explain?


Example #1: If you do your homework, you’ll get to go straight to bed without any dinner, TV. or the Hagen dasz Ice Cream that I bought for tonight.


Example #2: If you do your homework, you’ll get to stay up watching your favorite movie this Friday night, and I’ll will cook you your favorite dinner, and end it with the dessert of your choice.


If you were like me, the obvious choice would be Example #2.


My point is that there are benefits as a volleyball player to do well in school, and there is certainly almost no excuse. With as many on-campus free tutors, learning facilities, and study appropriate time set aside and encouraged by coaches, I’d like to hear your protest.


Also, back to the incentive (ice cream) idea I was referring to. Further studies among student-athletes; organizations, participation, and GPA, studies showed that student who participate in summer camps (specifically volleyball), and off season tournaments, and sports leagues show a higher academic standard in their results of GPA review. And some of those scores were the highest in volleyball players. So, why is that? Well, physical exercise is scientifically proven to stimulate the mind. Volleyball is a highly athletic sport that requires immense physical stigma, and core training. Your mind is wired, and your neuron pathways are firing faster than if you didn’t exercise. Also, physical exercise will help you calm your nerves and focus on the tasks at hand.


Teachers have said that among their many bright students, athletes were always the most focused and calm. Except football players before their Friday night game.


Lastly, according to the UCF volleyball head coach who values academics as paramount to their players. He set a standard that all their students would benefit if they reached a 3.2 grade point average. He believed that if they were truly a team, they would function in academics like one. Other schools have since then adopted this policy. However, UCF students would study together, take practice tests together, and match up with like-minded study partners. This is truly the essence of teamwork. Finally together the team as a whole reached their 3.2 standard and won as a team in every way possible.


I said lastly, but let me add one more nugget of wisdom to you volleyball players out there. In community comes strength; in solidarity comes fear, and weakness. If you’re a team on the court, be a team on the campus. Help your fellow volleyball players. It will pay off as some of the most rewarding memories in your life. Just know that the weakest link on the chain can break the connection, and so can the person who is suffering one area of his/her life. Volleyball players fight to bring the numbers up on the scoreboard, why not fight to bring the numbers up in each other’s GPA. The rewards help you now, and the memories will help you eternally.



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