IQ of ‘The Jock’

On the fields of your favorite sports, from the ripe years of 1960 to the current years of 2021, student-athletes shed some light on the derogatory term ‘Jock’.

Julieanna Canez, Journalist

What is a jock? Where did the term ‘Jock’ come from? The jock is someone who plays a particular sport, mostly football, and they aren’t necessarily the brightest of the bunch; or the kindest. Rather, they are seen as more of a comedy relief in movies or someone that antagonizes the protagonists. The term jock came around in the 1960s, yet has since grown from then. The jock isn’t all that it is made out to be, however, for the jock can be just as smart, if not more, than the average person.

Sports can help a student gain more confidence in themselves and their work. When a student participates in a sports activity, whether that be football, soccer, basketball, etc., they are using their brains to formulate different strategies and techniques to win the game they are playing. They need to also focus on the game to not mess up and thus lose the event. Their teams also spark this focus and even confidence, for the team works together and makes sure each person has the confidence in themselves to push through. In an article made by Paige Maslen, she even states through her research, “Physical activity naturally increases blood flow to the brain and activates endorphins, chemicals that are released when you exercise. Endorphins can impact your mood and work performance, meaning athletes may be more willing and capable of tackling that next big problem.” The blood flow that sports influence is said to activate endorphins, which help with mood and work performance. This can relate to how students gain the confidence and the focus that is required to handle the school day, and even tasks outside of the classroom. A better mood can result in a better day, and thus more motivation to get through the day on a good note. A person’s mood and willingness to complete certain tasks will get them far in life, and sports provide both of those frames of mind.

Athletes are more likely to attend school more than the average student, and that benefits their learning and their grades. Most students dread the day they go to school, and it’s no doubt that they want nothing more than to sleep. For students involved in physical activities, however, they are more inclined to go to school because of their sports and their improved attitudes. This rise in motivation allows the athletic students to attend class more and thus helps them keep their grades up, unlike the casual student that misses a day or two. Unless the athletic student is sick, they will more than likely attend school for their sports activities. Even a mother, Crystal VanTassel-Lopez, found that “On the average, student-athletes were present in school about three weeks more per year than non-athletes and boasted higher grade point averages by as much as 0.55 to 0.74 points.” If students who participated in athletic activities gained a higher grade point, that’s a clear sign. Sports can help improve a child’s grade, and might even benefit the child’s college; allowing the student to have more chances in life than with a high school diploma. Attendance in school is a big part of a student’s grade, and when they attend they are likely to learn more and get better in their classes as time goes on. Sports help this, and it helps a student later in life if they have good grades.

There is the likelihood of injury when playing sports, yet even if sticks and stones may break bones, they won’t stop a child from learning and getting through. Sports are a rough activity, especially in football when one must tackle another. However, most injuries are related to improper practice or even overtraining. A student is responsible for taking the time to know their limits and know proper warm-up techniques so they don’t get injured. When a person is seriously injured, whether it be head, back, neck, hands, ankles, etc, due to a collision (like in football) or even a wrong move (like in soccer), there are precautions. Coaches and even paramedics know how to handle such injuries, and when the student recovers and is going to head back into the game, there are extra steps for them to take to stay safe. In an article written by Nemours Children’s Health, they speak of precautions one should take when recovering from their injuries, saying, “To help prevent reinjury, be sure to warm up before practice and games….Most important, know your limits. Check-in with your body: If a previously injured area (or any body part) begins to hurt, stop right away and rest.” Health associations are made aware of injuries that a student may face, and they provide help for the families of the injured. Parents should also know that when their child plays sports, they are going to get hurt from time to time; it’s all part of the game. Though it isn’t a required trait of sports, coaches try and make sure that injury doesn’t happen all the time. People will fall, yet they will always get back up. Injury is common in everyday lives, from the smallest of papercuts to the harshest of wounds. Sports may be rough on the body, but they help a child become stronger in the long run.

The jock isn’t a person that is just a dumb, rude, antagonist that knows only sports and nothing else in the school curriculum. Physical activities help a student gain confidence, build up their grades, and strengthen their bodies. The people they meet help build up their confidence, and the lessons they learn help them gain a more focused mind in class. This allows them to excel in their classes and keep on playing, even after an injury. A jock is someone that has the mental intelligence to formulate a plan for a task, and it was only formed for the comedic relief that downsizes the true minds of athletes. Jocks are smarter than they let on.