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October 20, 2020

4 min

Dalton Hunkle

How Online High School Classes Can Help Student Athletes Succeed

When it comes to learning, student athletes can’t afford to settle for the status quo. If they want to drive better results in the classroom and on the field, it takes extra commitment. It also requires a more advanced learning environment.

Wondering if online high school is the answer for student athletes?

In this article, we examine how online high school classes are designed to encourage better performance from student athletes and dig into the critical components your online school needs if you want your student athlete to succeed.

Are Online High School Classes Sparking Student Athlete Success?

There are several built-in reasons student athletes can see more opportunities in online high school classes than within the traditional setting. And the results stretch across all arenas of life.

Success in Class

Although studies suggest that students within in-person and online schools have similar general learning outcomes, advanced online schools are positioned to help student athletes perform better in the classroom.


First, advanced online high school classes will use targeted instruction, one-to-one direction, and self-paced learning. One study found that in online settings, it takes 40-60 percent less time to complete learning tasks than in traditional learning environments. That means students can catch up or advance at their own pace. Alternatively, student athletes are often lost in the crowds of traditional schools or forced to learn at a pace that caters to the majority of students in the classroom.

Second, student athletes have more control over their schedules in an online setting. Because they aren’t confined to a rigid seven- to eight-hour learning block, online learners can choose to learn on the road or at times when they’re more efficient.

On the Field

We all know high performance on the field requires extra effort, but it can be easy to overlook how much time it takes to craft excellence. One study found that it takes 3,000-7,000 hours of purposeful training to compete at a world-class level in endurance, power, and combat sports. For sports like gymnastics, it’s closer to 9,000 hours.

Of course, excelling at a high school level takes less commitment than that of world-class athletes, but the time burden is still there. That’s why the design of online school is such an advantage for student athletes who want to carve out time for athletic advancement.

Because students can learn on the road and pick their own scheduling, they have more time to train. At the same time, they have more time for better eating routines, more sleep, and other self-care practices that fuel higher performance.

Here’s a quick guide to what you can expect from online school.

In Life

Successful student athletes don’t just excel on and off the field. They also learn to balance life on the field, in the classroom, and in their personal lives. Online high school classes can help students strike that balance.

For instance, online high school classes open the door to better stress management. Because they have more control over their schedules, it’s easier for student athletes to juggle responsibilities and set aside time for better self-care.

How to Pick an Online School for Student Athletes

Wondering how to choose the right online school for your student athlete? There are a few things to keep an eye out for:

Trusted Coursework

Not all online coursework is trustworthy. If you want to pick a program that’s built for academic success, look for these components:

  • Quality and usability: Before choosing an online school, take a deeper look at the school’s coursework. Is it engaging? Is it easy to use? These factors will be important if you want your student to avoid technical hangups and stay interested in their studies.
  • NCAA approval: If your student athlete is interested in competing at the next level, coursework should meet the standards of the NCAA. If the online school doesn’t offer NCAA-approved coursework, you may want to look elsewhere.
  • UC-ag alignment: Another way to quality-check coursework is by seeing if it’s aligned with the University of California system. UC-ag alignment indicates that the coursework upholds collegiate standards and suggests that the coursework is likely to be approved by other postsecondary institutions across the nation.

Student-Focused Curriculum

If you want your student to be prepared for life after graduation, your online program should include a quality curriculum. That means the curriculum should be engaging and self-paced. Also, it should be designed by accreditation specialists and educators. Above all else, make sure your online school is accredited and prepared to move your student athlete on to postsecondary institutions.

Additional Support for Student Athletes

If you want your student athlete to excel, it takes additional support. That’s why you should make sure online learning programs include the support your student needs to succeed.

One important thing to seek out in an online school is distance learning experts. Your student athlete has a lot on their plate. They don’t have time to teach instructors how to use technology. That’s why it’s smart to make sure the online high school classes your student takes are run by experienced distance learning professionals who have a history of working online.

It’s also important to make sure your online program is staffed with former athletes who understand what it’s like to be a student athlete. These specialists will have a clear idea of what it takes to help your student athlete succeed and will know how to support student athletes during challenging times.

Improve Your Student Athlete’s Learning Experience

Want to learn more about how online learning can improve your student athlete’s performance on and off the field? We’re here to help.

Contact our distance learning experts today and learn more about how Method Schools can help your student athlete succeed.

Method is here to help your child succeed. Learn more >>

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