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Finals should take priority over practice

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With one day of finals left, blogger Jacob Triplett believes that student athletes and their coaches should work together to achieve academic success

By Contributor Jacob Triplett

With the holidays in full swing, it is everyone’s favorite time of year. A time for spending time with friends, getting and giving gifts, and of course: final exams.

Yes, it’s the one-week out of the year in which students spend their nights learning what they should have been learning all semester.

Tomorrow is the last day of finals, and for some, time management can be a challenge. We all have our different methods of time management. Some use calendars, others study with flashcards, and some pretend we do not have finals at all. But when a student is also an athlete, it becomes tricky to balance his or her time between sports and academics.

Students who participate in a winter sport have an academic disadvantage because of their time commitments. Year round, it is important to divide time between academics and athletics. It is even more important in the final stretch. Students who participate in a sport understand the necessary academic commitment, especially when many of them dedicate large amounts of time to their sport.

I think it would be a huge advantage for students to get a break during finals so they could focus on earning the grades they have been chasing all semester. Yet athletes have to prioritize at the cost of practice time. The school runs the athletic program, and they should be more understanding to the fact that academic work needs take priority over sports.

If  practices were made optional during finals week, athletes would have the opportunity to better prepare for finals.

This could make a huge impact on students academically. Although some NNHS athletes are extremely talented  at their respective sports, academics will typically play a larger role than athletics in their futures. This time of year, athletes need extra time to focus on academics and coaches should work to give them that.

Typically, NNHS does an excellent job of ensuring that students take their academic course load seriously. If a student athlete is failing a class, that individual cannot participate in their sport until they earn a passing grade.

But is failure too far? One could be earning all D’s and still be eligible since it is considered a passing grade. It is the responsibility of student athletes to self-police themselves, especially during this critical week. Their GPA is at stake.

The importance of academics over athletics is very clear, and some sports already recognize that. So with one day left of finals, I hope that all of the athletes at NNHS try to put academics first. I hope that coaches also realize the role final exams play in their student athletes’ futures and can come to a mutual understanding.

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The student news site of Naperville North High School
Finals should take priority over practice