Blending sports and education fosters San Diego student athletes

San Diego student athletes

Successful San Diego student athletes learn to balance sports and academics for a well-rounded education.

By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School

School sports teams are a San Diego staple. But despite the thrill that many of us get cheering for our favorite San Diego student athletes, we often forget the formative power that comes from blending athletics and academics. Sports are a fun way to encourage students to get fit, stay active and learn about competition; but they also teach young people valuable lessons about leadership and teamwork, and underscore the importance of physical fitness – a key component of overall well being.

Integrating inclusion and competition to train balanced athletes

Many schools incorporate physical education and teamwork exercises into the standard curriculum. However, not all schools provide young people with an inclusive environment for learning new sports, developing new skills and experiencing friendly competition. In some cases, an emphasis on refined skills and physical prowess can lead to limited athletic options for less experienced students; and in others, successful athletes competing on premier teams may struggle to keep up with their school work in the face of rigorous game and practice schedules. In order for young people to benefit from school sports without compromising their academic opportunities, it is important for educators to strike the right balance.

At Francis Parker School, we believe that this balance can be found by uniting enthusiastic support for Junior Varsity and Varsity athletic teams with devoted advocacy for well-rounded students. Our athletic program is recognized throughout San Diego County as a distinctive opportunity for students who are equally serious about athletics and academics. And for those who simply want to learn new skills and experience the joys of working with a team, we also maintain a no-cut policy to ensure that everyone has the chance to participate in the sport of their choice.

Athletics are an integral part of student life at Parker, from Lower School all the way through to graduation. Younger students have the chance to hone their motor skills, experiment with new activities and foster a love and respect for sportsmanship and fitness through participation in a variety of sports. Our 7th and 8th grade students then move on to interscholastic competition on Parker’s sports teams, choosing one sport per season. Upper School students have the opportunity to try out for Frosh/Soph, Junior Varsity or Varsity sports teams, all of which compete with other schools throughout the County. Alternatively, students in grades 9-12 can also choose to take part in Physical Education classes or Independent PE studies.

Taking athletics to the next level

We at Parker are proud to have over sixty alumni currently pursuing athletic careers at NCAA Division I, II and III programs across the country. As advanced student athletes, these individuals exemplify the Parker model by translating lessons learned here at our school out into the world – and we consider them to be representatives of our overarching philosophy and role models for current and future students.

For more information about athletics at Francis Parker School, or for the latest Varsity team stats, visit us online at

Related posts:

  1. Academy boosting the role of student athlete
  2. Selecting independent schools in San Diego: information and advice for local families
  3. Sustainability in education prepares today’s youth for tomorrow’s challenges
  4. Canyon Crest Academy Sports Physical Night to be held June 2
  5. As far as the mind can see: pioneering the use of digital media in education

Short URL:

Posted by Social Media Staff on Jan 2, 2013. Filed under Columns, Kevin Yaley, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society acquires Covenant founder’s ledger
    The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society has acquired the ledger of Barton Millard, which dates back to the 1920s, and will unveil it at Coffee On The Patio Saturday, Sept. 20, at 10:30 a.m. at La Flecha House. Millard was a founding member of the Rancho Santa Fe Association, co-wrote the initial CC&Bs, and served four terms as its president. Millard’s gra […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe Community Center provides support to Rancho Santa Fe Fire District with recent donation
    The Rancho Santa Fe Community Center recently made a donation to the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department, funds coming from the Community Center’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Moroccan Fantasy Gala in May. The donation is pending approval from the RSF Fire District board and a specific amount will be announced in next week’s Review (Sept. 18). The contrib […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe golf tournament to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital
    Join in the fun and scramble on the beautiful fairways of Fairbanks Ranch Country Club with food, contests, a silent auction and an opportunity drawing on Oct. 6 — all to benefit The Sam S. and Rose Stein Emergency Care Center at Rady Children’s Hospital. The event is being presented by the RSF Unit of Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary. The fourth annual “T […]