Sports vs. Academics – Where are Your Family's Priorities?

Aug 27, 2017 | West Des Moines

We all love sports for our kids. Sports teach our children discipline, teamwork, loyalty, among other things. Every parent also has a limited amount of time, energy, and money. We must figure out where to spend those resources in a way that will maximize the success of our children in the future.


The likelihood of our kids playing organized sports past high school is around 6% for NCAA Division I, II, & III schools. See this article to find out specific percentages for each sport: Probability for Competing Beyond High School. And then only a few in each sport move on to compete at the professional or Olympic level.


The likelihood of our kids facing math when they get to those schools is about 100%.


Chances are you are spending those precious after school hours and weekends shuttling kids back and forth between all of their sports and activities – soccer, baseball, dance, gymnastics, football, volleyball, etc. What if you spent a fraction of those hours and funds focusing on helping your child get better at math? Imagine the possibilities.


By spending two to 3 hours a week focusing on fundamental skills for a child that is behind can mean taking that fear and anxiety over math and turning it into more confidence, better grades, and less time struggling with homework. As students address their lack of fundamental skills, they prepare for a brighter future where math is no longer that roadblock for future academic success.


Passing math in high school and doing well on the ACT or SAT will also mean saving thousands by avoiding remedial math in college. Today nearly 60% of college freshman enroll in a remedial math class for no credit towards a degree. They are paying thousands in tuition to take high school level math.


"But my kid loves math and doesn’t have any issues, why do they need extra math outside of school?" Well if they love it and are great at it, why not spend more time doing it? Spending those hours with advanced students that already love math can challenge them to take their skills to the next level. Kids that can skip ahead grades in math have the opportunity to take college level math in high school and save thousands in college tuition. They are also better prepared to compete for college scholarships and for a career in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math).


If your advanced student wants to go to college for free there is a lot better chance they can do that by being great at math than by being great in a sport. And graduating college with a degree in a STEM field will increase their lifetime earnings exponentially. And if your kid wants to go to an elite academic school they will be competing with kids not only locally, but worldwide. I bet almost all the kids that get a free ride to an Ivy League school did extra math outside of the classroom.


Now is the perfect time to set priorities and help your kids this year and beyond. Call me today at Mathnasium of West Des Moines (across from Jordan Creek Mall) and see how we can help! Call 515-440-6284 or click on the website above to find out more.


By Dan Gehlbach, Center Director/Owner - Mathnasium of West Des Moines

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