Student athletes required to take Phys Ed


Many of the schools in Carlisle, Newville, and Shippensburg require that students take a certain amount of Phys Ed classes in order to graduate, including student athletes. Should student athletes also have to take these classes, despite dedicating the majority of their free time during each season to their sport? The answer is absolutely yes.

Not only do PE classes provide opportunities unique to school sports, they also teach students how to maintain mental and social health in addition to physical.

One of the main reasons classes are required is that Big Spring doesn’t offer any stand alone PE classes, but rather pairs them with health to help students focus on physical, mental, and social health all at once. “This wellness triangle focuses on group concentration and helps students to relieve stress and gain confidence,” said PE teacher Kelly Fry. “We’ve had a lot of students tell us they’re more focused throughout the day as well.”

Gym classes also offer a lot of opportunities that sports don’t. For example, classes experiment with a variety of activities, such as Yoga, or meditation, that aren’t included in a lot of the after school sports programs. Students can really get a feel for what physical activities they enjoy and may want to get involved in.

“Athletics are extracurricular activities,” guidance counselor Jocelyn Kraus said. “[They’re] not curriculum based. Students receive physical activity but not necessarily physical education.”

“PE classes support athletes in their quest to become an athlete,” Fry said. She explained that the classes are geared toward increasing strength, flexibility, and endurance. This allows athletes to stay active both either during their season or outside of it.

Fry also pointed out some of the group lessons students learn in Phys Ed classes that they may miss out on in playing a sport. “You learn how to help others and allow others to help you,” she said.

Sophomore Melanie Macioce, a cross country runner said, “I’m not personally against [mandatory PE classes]. I’ve been able to incorporate a lot of the stretches I learned in Personal Fitness before and after I run.”

Macioce said that Phys Ed classes could make student athletes tired before big games or meets. This could be an issue for athletes who have PE classes during a season they play a sport. However, such activity can help build endurance for athletes. Macioce pointed out that “being sore during practice makes you stronger.”

While there are some notable cons to mandatory Physical Education classes for students and athletes alike, the benefits of student athletes taking gym far outweigh the deficiencies, making it obvious that mandatory PE classes are most certainly necessary for all students.