Education Matters

Sport and academics: how to find the balance

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Jun 27, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Sports and academics: how to find the balanceParticipation in sport at Trinity Grammar School is an important and unique component of a boy’s education. And increasingly, we are understanding more deeply the role sport and exercise plays in improving cognition and other areas of brain functioning, particularly for boys.

In many ways, sport is the training ground for some of life’s biggest lessons. Through sport boys learn to extend themselves; experience team work; develop and refine skills; learn to cope with adversity; learn to lose with dignity and to win with grace. Disciplined care of the body and the cultivation of temperate habits are essential for healthy living.

Sport can also provide boys with a sense of structure and collective purpose. Many boys tend to be task-orientated, and understanding the rules, boundaries and operating procedures of what they do is important. The emphasis on team sports at school also emboldens co-operation, camaraderie and mutual respect. Competitiveness is important for boys and is encouraged for the sake of enabling them to give of their best, rather than simply for the sake of winning.

Despite what we know about the benefits of sport and brain function, it can be challenging for parents and boys to strike a balance between academics and sport, particularly as boys progress through school.

Below are some practical tips for maintaining balance:  

  • Prioritise academic and sporting commitments at the start of the year:
    Review all academic and extracurricular activities for the year with your son and reach a mutual agreement on the priorities. This will set expectations early and can be referred back to if the balance isn’t being met.

  • Communicate expectations and priorities with all parties:
    Be clear with teachers, coaches, clubs and the School as to where your son’s priorities lay. Pressure to meet training commitments, attend additional skills sessions, perform and maintain a study schedule can be overwhelming. Communicate what can be achieved.

  • Don’t lose sight of the benefits:
    Clearly, the value of sport and academic performance is not in doubt. But don’t lose sight of some of the other benefits - sport can be an outlet for stress relief, particularly during exam study times; a healthy social interaction; and valuable for maintaining friendships.

  • Help with time management:
    Offer practical support to help your son map out and manage his time. Consider using travel time for study/reading; weekends are great for getting organised for the week ahead. Try to establish regular times for meals and ensure the fridge/pantry has a range of healthy snacks that can be grabbed on the go.

  • Monitor progress:
    Be vigilant and watch for any signs that your son isn’t coping with the demands of his sporting and academic commitments. Signs of not coping could include:
    • Sudden drop in grades.
    • Lack of motivation/interest in sport.
    • Non-attendance at training sessions.
    • Making excuses to miss sport or training.
    • Complaints of sickness.

Our aim at Trinity, in all that we do, is to provide the very best environment for our boys to flourish and develop their God-given talents. The unique programme of sport that we provide at Trinity, in many direct and indirect ways, plays a key role in this aim.

To discover how some of our students have successfully managed to balance academic and co-curricular commitments in the past watch our Trinity in Action videos and hear our students speak about their journeys.

Experience the Trinity difference

Topics: Sport and boys, Pastoral care