by BRIDGET CAHILL
El Diamante’s policy involving PE for athletes is a common issue among student athletes trying to get all of their required classes. It has been an ongoing struggle with the athletic department and athletes for years as to why we are required to take four years of PE. The athletics at El Diamante has been declining at a rapid pace so why continue putting athletes in PE if it is no longer beneficial. The physical education program is specific to the football, basketball, and baseball programs. Weight training has no purpose for golfers and tennis players and running drills are pointless for swimmers and water polo players.
As of this year, El Diamante as adopted the XL program which allows athletes to meet after school with their coaches and teammates to work on sport specific activities. There is an hour provided for exercise and another hour utilized for homework and team meetings. Athletes are given the tools to be successful in not only their sport but their academics. Resources are available if students athletes are struggling in their classes, making them a well rounded person academically and athletically.
The only problem with the XL program is that it requires athletes to weight lift everyday, and some athletes twice a day, because they are required to take PE and are strongly encouraged to participate in the XL program. It is scientifically proven that athletes are at a higher risk of injury if they weight lift everyday let alone twice a day. Why do we need both? The XL program is more beneficial to athletes as it allows more ways for them to gain strength and knowledge. The school would see substantial improvements in the athletic department if the XL program replaced PE. Freshmen and sophomores are required by the State of California to take two years of physical education, so instead of splitting up the classes as core and integrated, they could be combined; the athletes could then receive their requirements and still fulfill their athletic potential by participating in specific activities to their sport.
The athletic department has proved to us that they do not care about whether we are there to improve, they only care about having every athlete in a PE class for show. Injured athletes who may not be able to participate in PE at all are still required to take a PE class and go sit there. Instead of taking PE, they could instead be taking another academic class to improve their chances of getting into college.
The solution is simple: do not make PE mandatory, utilize the XL program differently, and in turn, El Diamante will produce stronger athletes as well as scholars.