The new coach has high expectations for his players and their abilities, not only on the court, but in school as well. With a very small team, consisting of only 11 players, new Helix Volleyball Coach Dan Headley needs as many of his players as possible and can’t afford to have them out on grade check. He reminds them of the importance of their school work. “Sports are a necessity to me, I like to be athletic, to be part of a team, and to work hard, it gives me more motivation to work hard in school as well,” said Lexie Krol, a freshman defensive specialist.
The Helix grade check policy requires students in the school, especially athletes, to stay on top of their grades. Students with a grade below 70% are required to give up a portion of their lunch period for a session called Tutorial until their grades are back up. In Tutorial, students are given an opportunity to catch up on missing work or make progress on current work. Superintendent Darrick Cope monitors who belongs in this class and oversees how they are managing their time.
The grade check policy also has an even larger effect on athletes. For any athletes on grade check, they are unable to practice or compete for a two week minimum. This time can increase by two week increments if the athlete continues to drop below the grade check standards. This motivates the athletes to work hard and the coaches to encourage that behavior. “I think volleyball helps my grades, because if I didn’t play sports I wouldn’t be as worried about grade check,” said Krol.
Managing time and getting good grades can be especially hard for the freshman making this adjustment at the beginning of the year. “Freshman year you’re really just getting used to all the new stuff. You’re getting used to being at practice then going home and needing to eat dinner and do homework and trying to keep a social life,” said Senior Arianna Krol.
Practice also can consume much of an athlete’s time during the week, “Each practice is like 3 hours so about 15 hours a week and add some for at home and games,” said Lexie Krol. This requires freshman especially, to give up free time and be willing to have some late nights working on school work.
There are certain things that athletes can do that may help their focus, time management, and grades. “We are teenagers; I know that a cell phone plays a really big part in getting your homework done, for me especially. I try to maintain my social life and sometimes that backfires on me. Even Mr. Simpson will say turn off your phone and put it away in your locker,” said Senior captain Ari Krol.
A recent study showed that students who had left their phones in another room did better on a cognitive test than the students who left their phones silenced and face-down in front of them. Making some of these types of sacrifices can help improve grades and time management. This captain makes sure to remind her teammates to use their time wisely.
Coach Headley’s reminders and motivation for the students and their grades has been reflected fairly well with only two grade check occurrences throughout the season. The continued encouragement and help from captains has also helped avoid grade check for other teammates. These athletes have shown a great appreciation for their coach and his consideration of their time while he is giving up much of his own.