Why we need to change our schedule (for athletes)

Luke Teeple, Web assistant

“Changing the bell schedule could minimize the impact [athletic releases] have on attendance,” said Connie Byrnes, attendance specialist.

The current schedule forces athletes to skip about an hour to an hour and a half of school every week. There are about 750 athletes at Laguna Beach High School who make up 70% of the student body. Because our school schedule is different than most other schools, who have sports as a sixth period, many sports have games around 3-4 in the afternoon. About x athletes have to leave early to take a bus to get to their game on time. If we changed the schedule and gave the opportunity for athletes to have a zero period and then have a free sixth period, it would greatly improve the performance of our athletes.

“There is science behind the more time you spend in class, the better your grades are; when athletes miss class, there is a burden to find out what they missed,” said Lance Neal, athletic director.

Student-athletes suffer academically from missing school which makes some athletes either drop their sport or take easier classes so they can do their sport while missing much of their sixth-period class. Another consequence of the current schedule is that athletes do not eat healthy food before their games.

“Nutrition can play a key role in optimizing physical performance and recovery from strenuous exercise” (American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic Association, and Dietitians of Canada, 2000).  

LBHS athletes have to get their bags, their sports gear, and then get food, and, finally, get on the bus; all in 15 minutes! A healthy snack or meal is an essential part of winning a game. Sadly, many students are forced to run to Ralphs to get cheap, unhealthy food which negatively affects their ability to play their sport. If we want to win, why do we not give our athletes time to get a healthy meal before games? Nutrition can be one of the most significant factors in determining whether you win or lose a game or recover from a difficult practice. Have you ever tried to run after eating a burger? Candy? Cookies? It is extremely difficult to play your best if you have just eaten the worst. So why do we expect our athletes to do it before every game?

“I’m usually hungry before and after my games, and then I have to stay up late making up the work I missed in class,” said sophomore Rachael Carver, who plays girls varsity water polo.