Why Aren’t Sports the Same as Gym?

Jargbah Kalay, Staff Writer

Hustling on the field, hustling on the court, or even hustling on the track means putting in a lot of work for the athletes who participate in sports. However, these same student-athletes often end up doing the same thing in the gym for Physical Education class. But why? Why must athletes who put in daily work for their team still be required to take PE credits?

In Montgomery County all students, including athletes, need to take a PE course to get their physical education credit, But why? Student-athletes already put in a lot of work to represent the school in sports, practice for countless hours each week, and challenge themselves physically, so being required to also take a PE class is practically useless and a waste of time.

Sure, the rules for graduation state that all high school students need to successfully complete one credit in physical education to graduate, but this requirement makes little sense when the student is an athlete, especially if that student has played multiple sports for multiple years. Think about it, athletes are putting in the same amount of vigorous movement they would put in during a PE class, if not more. 

Some may say that kids will try to manipulate the system by joining a sport and then quit after a few weeks in order to “qualify” for the equivalent credit. However, the way to avoid this loophole is to require athletes to participate in the sport for a full season for the equivalent credit, so they can’t exploit the system. 

Another argument against why athletes should not have to take PE could be that without athletes taking PE, it could endanger the jobs of some PE teachers. That’s a good argument, but it shouldn’t change the fact that athletes already work out more than most PE students do. Also, if an athlete is not earning his/her credit through the work on the team, the coach could say they need to do PE.  They could argue that even athletes need more exercise worked into their lives, but there is no need to put so much strain into the athletes. 

Yes, we people at PB understand that athletes need to be in shape to perform better, but the activities they do in PE don’t match the workouts for football or soccer or other sports. Honestly, it would be to easy for the athlete to blow past all the PE activities.

What people need to realize is that overworking athletes isn’t good, and they deserve a break sometimes. Ultimately, playing a sport for your school is close enough to what it is like to take PE.