Debunking 3 Common Myths About Student-Athletes

April 12, 2013 | M. Alexander Kuhn

Must See College Recruiting Videos

Most parents want their children to have a positive experience playing sports. Among other goals, parents want their kids to play sports to boost their confidence, develop their work ethic and promote friendships.

However as children grow older and become more serious about athletics, parents may become concerned that sports could be a detriment to academics. It's time to put the "student" back in student-athlete and debunk three common myths.

Myth #1: Athletes Do Worse in School

This is actually one of the most widespread misconceptions. Recent studies show that, despite having less time, athletes earn higher GPA's than non-athletes. This is not to say that all children will perform better in school if they pursue athletics. The point is that athletics does not retard the academic progress of most student-athletes.

Myth #2: Athletes Don't Care About School

Stories in the media have a tendency to point out negative aspects of athletes' academic performance—e.g., highlighting the recent cheating scandal at Harvard. Stories like that obscure the great majority of student-athletes, who care about school and play by the rules.

Each year, the NCAA highlights teams that earn Academic All American status. This means the average GPA of team members was above 3.0. During the fall of 2012, 496 NCAA swimming & diving programs achieved this distinction. Swimmers devote huge amounts of time to practice and meets. They are just one of many examples demonstrating that athletes care about academics.

Myth #3: Athletes Are Less Motivated off the Playing Field

When you watch student-athletes compete on the field, you see their passion and intensity. Yet you rarely see the same level of intensity when they're studying, especially if a student dislikes school. There are two things to consider.

To perform well in academics, it is better to feel calm and relaxed. Like a golfer putting for a win on the 18th green, people perform better academically if they keep their emotions in check.

Many individuals (including non-athletes) are unsure where school is leading them. As they grow older and discover their talents and interests, they begin to visualize careers and better understand the purpose of school. Once this happens, they become extremely motivated to do well in school. (See 6 Reasons to Read Raven Magwood's "The 7 Practices of Exceptional Student Athletes".)

M. Alexander Kuhn
- M. Alexander Kuhn is the founder of Kuhn Solutions Group (Bridgeville, Pa.), an organization focused on athletic peak performance. Through his series, "The Athlete System,"...
M. Alexander Kuhn
- M. Alexander Kuhn is the founder of Kuhn Solutions Group (Bridgeville, Pa.), an organization focused on athletic peak performance. Through his series, "The Athlete System,"...
Must See
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 6,764,062
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 28,434,823
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 27,784,397

Featured Videos

Get in Shape for Baseball With Austin Adams' Metabolic Conditioning Circuit Views: 2,339
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 7,008
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 326,774
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 848,643
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,963
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 883,074
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 4,501,997
Dwyane Wade Jumps Onto a 42" Box
Views: 10,741,081

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

The 50 Best D-II and D-III Colleges for Athletes

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

5 Things to Know About Football Recruiting

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

The 50 Best Colleges for Athletes

College Baseball Recruiting: How to Control Your Own Destiny

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

The Best College Football Programs

Recruiting: You Need to Score, But Your Coach Won't Let You?

Meet the A to Z Basketball Insiders

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

How to Create a Recruiting Video That Coaches Will Watch

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

The 50 Best Colleges for Male Athletes

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

The Best Women's College Basketball Programs

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

College Recruiting Evaluations: A Different Perspective

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

College Football Recruits: 5 Strategies to Get Noticed

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

Combatting the Early Commitment Epidemic in Women

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained

What is a Parent's Role in Recruiting?

The 50 Best Colleges for Female Athletes

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

3 Tips for Writing a Strong College Recruiting Mission Statement

The Best Men's College Basketball Programs

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

4 Key Steps When Contacting College Coaches

The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision

Prepare Early for the College Recruiting Process

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU