In spite of the dire statistics reported in the graphic, a large number of international students pursue education in the U.S., clearly demonstrating confidence in the U.S. educational system; i.e., business, medicine, computer engineering are among many of the strongest academic programs available in the U.S.
However, I believe that the development of the student athlete from K-12 and in higher education in the States is even more remarkable.
Sport systems in the U.S. are well organized compared to other countries. Furthermore, sports not only generate a huge profit, they are also a tool for social bonding and politics. For example, the city of Cleveland, Ohio has been dramatically improving since LeBron James returned to Cleveland Cavaliers. It shows that just one star player can easily change the whole cities economy. According to The Program for International Student Assessment, the U.S. education level is not the greatest among other countries in the world.
Despite the decreasing average of PISA scores in the U.S., there is still a huge amount of people from other countries who would like to obtain an education in the U.S. According to NAFSA, “1,043,839 international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $32.8 billion and supported more than 400,000 jobs to the U.S. economy during the 2015-2016 academic year.”
1. Fair Opportunity
American students believe “Anyone can be anything”
Students are free to participate in various areas (sports, arts and music). It helps them to discover their talents. And, all of students do not have to be varsity players to play school sports because club sports are well organized. Since 1972, by the federal law Title 9, schools have to equally have and support men and women sports. Therefore, female participation in this country is great.
Korean Students believe “Anyone can’t be anything”
Korean Student, who wants to be a professional player in the future, have to choose either studying other subjects without sports or only practice on the field. Part of Korean culture seeks for the elite education. This means athletes or students who are in the arts, music, and sports do not spend time studying any other subjects. Usually, they start at 3rd grade elementary school or younger. There are lack of activity programs for non-school athletes. And, women sports are very limited.
2. Study Time
5 days a week
American School athletes go to school 5 Days a week. There tems actually no separation between normal students and athletes in the US education system. All of athletes have to attend class, study and finish their given school hours. And, practice time is always after all of classes are done.
0 day a week
Korean athletes spend 12 hour practice time 6 days a week instead of attending class. Even though students officially have to attend class to finish their given school hours, coaches do not send them to the class because they only focus too much on better result from intervarsity matches. This is illegal and an old and bad custom, but most of schools do not care about the regulation and still keep using the old system. Because of this reason, athletes’ academic education level is very low.
3. Adapted Teaching Method and Educated Coaches
Friendly, educated and open minded coaches
American teachers and coaches are friendly and open-minded. They are actually dying for communicating with their students, trying to listen to them and solve the problem together. And, they psychologically and educationally approach their students.
Confucianism and Military Effect
Korea in the past was infused by Confucianism. In this system, a man of power abuses power as a boss in an organization. This old concept still exists today. A man of power could be a teacher or coach. Coaches are difficult persons to communicate with. And, it is very rude for students to challenge their teachers and coaches in Korean culture.
4. Use of Facilitiy
Students are Owner
School invests for indoor and outdoor facility for the physical education. And, they equally allow students to use the facilities for free.There are often special events going on, so students always participate in them
Athletes are Owner
Most of facilities are athletes’ only. There are no other events open except athletes’ use. So, normal students usually go out of school and register for private activity classes. Even if It is costly, parents are willing to let their child learn and enjoy sports out of school.
Sports are not everything for American athletes
Even though Athletes are not drafted from professional teams, they can always change their course to other areas because ‘Sports’ are not the only subject that they have studied. And, in the states, there are not only professional organizations, but also there are a lot of semi-professional and independent organizations that players can keep their dream alive.
A Lot of Pressure
Undrafted is a real shock for Korean athletes, most of them struggle with a depression because they only invested their time on sports the entire their life. Because South Korea is such a small country, the opportunity is not given for everyone. Also, there are lack of professional teams. And minor league systems is very poor. Literally, 1% of 1% of players can survive in this market. It is very competitive.
The United States are obviously the number one sport country in the world. For this reason, it invests a lot of money into athletic programs to develop the sports industry. The States not only invests money, but it also cares about athletes’ retirements. And the most important thing the U.S. cares about is student first and the player second. This is the biggest reason why US sports are always in the top of the world.