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Athletics and Education, A Great Team

"The backbone of success is... hard work, determination, good planning, and perseverance.”

Mia Hamm, American soccer player and Olympic gold medalist

Looking back we might not recall the score of our homecoming game, the time of our 50-yard dash, or who hit the clinch homerun. We remember the sense of pride in receiving our first jersey, team huddles before big plays, and games in the rain. We remember sidesplitting laughter, team cheers, and our coaches’ inspirational words. At Summit, we believe in a well-rounded education that reaches beyond the classroom and into the hearts of our students. Participating in Dragon athletics builds friendship, mental stamina, and physical fitness, all while supporting academic achievement.  

Teamwork & Training

The soccer team’s goalie puts faith in her defensemen, and a relay race requires more than one runner. Athletes develop a team mentality and learn to work together.  Several learning theories emphasize the importance of peer-to-peer collaboration for individual development. Involvement in sports can be a powerful factor in a student’s personal growth, and encouragement from the coach and teammates can help keep kids on the right track. Team members are expected to perform in the classroom as well – they must maintain academic performance and good attendance if they want to play. At Summit we live by the FIRE acronym. All athletes must display the attributes of focus, integrity, respect and excellence. 

Clearing Mental Hurdles

Playing sports is like practicing for life. We experience the payoff of hard work and dedication while learning to live with the calls the ref makes, even when we don’t agree.  As a Dragon, good sportsmanship is expected on and off the field and Summit gives student-athletes clear direction for conflict resolution, should one arise. Players learn consequences for misbehavior and skills for time management. Summit’s policy discourages quitting and encourages perseverance, teaching students the importance of commitment. An athlete at Summit learns how to lace up, show up and get back up – even when the going gets tough.  

From Court to Classroom 

Studies show that a motivated athlete is frequently a motivated student. An article published in the Journal of School Health discusses the growing body of evidence that links physical fitness to improved concentration, cognitive functioning and neural development.  Research indicates "a significant relationship between students’ academic achievement and physical fitness.” It also states that physical activity can improve classroom behavior and boost self-esteem. Physical activity releases endorphins, "the happy hormone,” and decreases stress and anxiety that can interfere with learning. Playing sports is a win, win. Being active contributes to academic achievement as well as increased physical and mental health.  

From the sidelines practice may simply look like drills, sprints and sweat. It’s that and so much more. Players bond with the team, discover new capabilities and develop school spirit. Being a student-athlete is fun, healthy and a great learning experience. Depending on the season, grade level, and gender, Summit offers baseball, basketball, bowling, competitive cheer, cross country, football (or flag football for Lil’ Dragons), hockey, soccer, softball, track and field, volleyball and wrestling! Summit believes in the value of family involvement, which is why we encourage parents to attend games and volunteer with the team whenever possible. To paraphrase Isaac Newton’s first law, an object in motion stays in motion. Be active, stay active.  


Remember, there are no pay to play fees for athletics during the 2015-2016 school year. We want every student to participate in at least one extracurricular activity, but realize that sometimes participation can be cost prohibitive. As a result, joining an athletic team or club at Summit is free of charge!


Virginia R. Chomitz et al.  "Is there a relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement?  Positive results from public school children in the northeastern United States.”  Journal of School Health (2009).  Academic OneFile.  Web. 1 Apr. 2015.

"Mia Hamm Quotes,” Good Reads, n.d.  Web 8 Apr. 2015.

Summit Academy Athletics Handbook (2014-2015) and Dragon Athletics website

Jackson, Barbara Talbert. "Increasing male academic achievement." Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table (2008). Academic OneFile. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.

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