Do you know that competitive student athletes are much more likely to score 10% better than their peers in English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science? According to a US university study, such statistics are possible because these students who can handle both classes and sports on top of practice for competitions have a more innate determination to succeed.
The reasons for producing well-rounded athletes are many – for starters, they gain essential life skills – team work, perseverance, time management and others – that enable them to succeed wherever they go after graduation. Another advantage is the ability to build up character through hard work, and develop critical problem-solving skills during competitions.
By balancing both classroom learning and juggling sports priorities – in order to remain eligible for athletics, the student athletes become more responsible and committed to finishing both studies and athletics. Such people will be more in-demand when they move further to university or the workplace, and may win future athletic or university scholarships.
If you are interested in becoming a student athlete and want a comprehensive experience, the following four US sports schools have a wide range of athletics which they excel in, besides their attractive philosophies.
SPIRE Institute & Academy
SPIRE inspires the best expression of the human spirit through athletics, academics and service to others. SPIRE Admissions looks for heart, character and dedication to oneself and others.
The 750,000 square feet complex for SPIRE Institute and Academy – a sports boarding school located in Geneva, Ohio – hosts a residential academy, clubs, leagues, tournaments and championship events, regardless of weather or season. From basketball to esports, lacrosse to swimming, track and field to wrestling – no other Sport Academy can match SPIRE’s diverse offerings.
Through the SPIRE way, many strong minds, bodies and characters have been forged. The Academy’s students excel in its four pillars: academic (through an integrated cross-curricular project-based model), personal skills development, career exploration opportunities, and its “six areas of passion” (offered as “majors” at SPIRE are basketball, esports, lacrosse, swimming, track and field and wrestling).
In particular, the accredited academic programme – easily customisable to meet distinctive learning needs – prepares students for college and beyond. At the same time, SPIRE’s on-site College Planning and Placement team helps students with useful resources such as career planning, college search and applications, and test preparation.
Famous ambassadors such as Olympic Gold Medalists Caeleb Dressel (swim), Ryan Lochte (swim), Tianna Bartoletta (track and field), as well as Basketball Hall of Fame Dikembe Mutombo, plus knowledgeable leadership who collectively have over 110 years of leadership experience between them building IMG Academy), help SPIRE maintain and promote their overall vision of helping excellent student athletes achieve their full potential as well.
If you are looking for an exceptional sports boarding school to realise your child’s athletic ambitions and personal passions, consider applying to SPIRE today.
The Frederick Gunn School
Founded in 1850, The Frederick Gunn School is a co-educational boarding and day institution for Grade Nine-12 students, and offers a post-grad year. The founder, Mr Gunn’s philosophy of confidence, conviction and character still stays relevant even as the school celebrates 170 years of history and strong-knit community.
Through creating a nurturing yet challenging environment, 315 students are guided by teacher-mentors to discover different layers of abilities and passions. In the beautiful 220-acres Washington, Connecticut campus – just 90 miles away from New York City, students enjoy a rich outdoors programme where they develop leadership skills while exploring the natural scenery.
Their rigorous academic programme includes 32 AP and Honours courses as well as Independent Study Projects. Athletics at The Frederick Gunn School are equally dynamic – 35 teams compete in 15 sports such as Highlander ice hockey (for both genders; those with zero knowledge are welcome to join too).
All students are required to participate in one co-curricular activity every term; new joiners must play in two interscholastic sports, tapering off to at least one as they advance through the senior years. Consequently, they become engaged, collaborative and competitive athletes on top of excelling in academics.
Oldfields School – an all girls day and boarding independent institution – is located in 140 acres of Maryland’s scenic horse country. Catering to 100 young women from 20 states and seven countries, Oldfields’ 150-year history of focusing on individual success sees them transform into courageous, kind and confident graduates.
On the academics side, small class sizes and flexible curriculum mean the girls enjoy a personal learning approach that matches their individual passions and talents. The combination of a robust arts programme, outstanding learning support, experiential learning (including their famous May projects) and caring faculty ensure the girls can reach their highest potential.
As one of the first girls’ schools to pioneer an athletic programme, Oldfields’ wealth of experience has allowed many girls to bloom into outstanding athlete leaders. Through 12 interscholastic sports teams such as equestrian (riding), the girls learn important skills such as teamwork, sportsmanship, commitment and appreciation for lifelong activity.
Their signature Riding Programme sees a quarter of the students as active members. In fact, Oldfields provides daily riding opportunities in both semesters, and has all levels up to advanced; the students learn from certified trainers and expert clinicians on top of participating in events such as dressage.
Carrabassett Valley Academy
Located in the western mountains of Maine, Carrabassett Valley Academy – a private middle and high school – is known for being a close-knit community of student athletes where their needs and wants are constantly being cared for. Famous for producing many Olympic medallists for snowboarding and skiing, Carrabassett’s world-class training facilities and dedicated coaches train athletes to become responsible, hard-working and caring citizens.
Their rigorous athletic programme in four main areas: alpine ski racing,competitive freestyle skiing, competitive snowboarding and backcountry skiing/snowboarding , together with an innovative college preparatory curriculum allow students to have an excellent balance of both academics and sports. Add in the low student-faculty ratio and academic independence where the pupils are expected to account for their performance as well, and you have this impressive school that has produced six world champions, 39 National Team Members and won 92 National Titles.
This is no mean feat, considering that their highest academic CGPA is 98.13 with the lowest being 75.00. What’s more, Carrabassett is an US Ski and Snowboarding Certified Gold Club and High Performance Center, and counts seven students among the 2021 National Honor Society Chapter inductees.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International