Student achievement in Academic and Sports
Before joining NYP as a full time staff, I was fortunate to be involved with national athletes while working part time at Singapore Sports Council which is now Singapore Sports Institute. It gave me a chance to come into contact with the athletes at the highest level in Singapore. Some of the national athletes are doing well in their jobs and have achieved good academic results. I was also fortunate to go into coaching distance runners and I have been coaching the NYP’s long distance runners for the past four years..
Advantages of Sports
Fejgin, N. (1994) did a study on a research carried out on American National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) with a sample of 1052 schools and 26,432students from the 8th to 10th of grade in 1988. The research suggests that Sports has the positive effects on grades, self-concept, locus of control and educational aspirations. The research also suggests a decrease in disciplinary problems. The author states that the impact of sports on grades, self-concept, locus of control and discipline is greater than the effects from family income, parents’ education, gender or race.
The research also suggest that the higher the level of competition the students partake in, the better the grades, educational aspirations, self-concept, locus of control and discipline. It is thought that sports brings about character building in terms of building basic values in life ie. competition, determination, fair play and achievement.
Interestingly enough, Fejgin, N. (1994) found that participation in academic clubs have similar effects as participation in sports where both groups have better grades, higher educational aspirations. The participants in academic clubs had better discipline while the participants in sports had better self-concept with both doing good in both areas. Both the groups did better than creative clubs (music, drama), student self manage clubs (student council, school paper) and other activity clubs (hobbies).
Fejgin, N. (1994) attributed the possible reasons to the better achievements by participants in sports to competition, recognition of achievement, adhering to rules/regulations while training in sports.
Fejgin, N. (1994) also argued that schools should reorganize academia to operate like sports teams as sports brings about general benefits and teach students universal norms by competing against external competitors unlike competing among student in the same school in the academic environment.
Eccles, J. S. & Barber, B. L. (1999) in their research found that participation in team sports brought about better GPA. Athletes are also more likely to like school and attend college compared to non-athletes.
Makel, M. (2011) who studied high academic ability students reported that academically talented students have a higher participation rates in sports and these students spend less time on watching TV and working after school hours.
Disadvantages of Sports
Fejgin, N. (1994) quoted zero sum theory in its research which is concerned with time spent in sports may divert attention from academic work.
Eccles, J. S. & Barber, B. L. (1999) in their research found that there is also has an increase in risky behaviours such as smoking and drinking. I find similarities in some team sports in Singapore. This is probably due to the culture cultivated in the respective sports.
- Eccles, J. S. & Barber, B. L. (1999). Student Council, Volunteering, Basketball or Marching Bands: What kind of Extracurricular Involvement Matters? Journal of Adloescents Research 14(1):16-38 in Yiannakis, A., & Melnick, M. J. (2001). Contemporary issues in sociology of sport (Rev. ed.). Champaign, IL:
- Fejgin, N. (1994). Participation in High School Competitive Sports: A Subversion of School Mission or Contribution to Academic Goals? Sociology in Sports Journal 11:219 in Yiannakis, A., & Melnick, M. J. (2001). Contemporary issues in sociology of sport (Rev. ed.). Champaign, IL:Human Kinetics.
- Makel, M. (2011). High-Ability Students’ Time Spent Outside the Classroom. Journal Of Advanced Academics, 22(5), 720-749.
- Silliker, S. T. (1997). The effect of extracurricular activity participation on the academic performance of male and female High School Students. School Counselor, 44(4), 288.
- Tan, J. (2008-07-01), "Today's NSmen – more fit but less tough?", The Straits Times: 1–2