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Nerd vs. Jock: Do We Place More Emphasis On Athletics Over Academics & How Does It Impact Our Children?

I saw a recent program on CNN where writer/contributor LZ Granderson said somethig quite intriguing. He said he was raising his son to be a nerd rather than a jock and this gave me room for pause.

He thinks that our society places way too much emphasis on sports instead of academics and that many parents are so heavily invested in their childrens extra-curricular athletics to the detriment of their education.

Is he right? Are you a parent feverishly pushing your child towards that athletic scholarship in the hopes that he would be drafted to some pro-sport team?

Football or basketball games are the highlight of many schools social calender, far bigger than the science fair or any other academic activiites.

Jocks are usually the 'cool kids' of the school and rule supreme to th envy of the 'nerds' and the rest of the school population. Some schools are now starting to require a passing grade from all subjects before they can participate in sports but many still let pupils slide in academics if they are 'star' players for the school team.

Parents, especially fathers are intensely proud and slap their sons on the back for excellenct sportsmanship and atheletic skill but you rarely see that kind of macho 'thumping of chest' for academic excellence.

Our society pays huge salaries to pro sport athletes so it's no wonder parents and their children alike long to enter that elite circle.

Should we start lowering the pay in entertainment/sports careers so they don't woefully dwarf other areas and shine the same kind of spotlight on academics and professions that results from 'pro-performances' in academia?

Here is an excerpt from LZ Granderson artilce:

"I’m not against athletics as a hobby – I played many different sports throughout my life and I’m still a fan of professional sports. But we need to realize that becoming a professional athlete is not a realistic goal for the majority of Americans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 9,380 professional athletes in America, which means you have a .00565 percent chance of becoming a professional athlete. You have a better chance of winning the lottery or writing a best-selling book."