AT’s PE should reconsider rules for student athletes

PE is a problem for me. As a student taking online PE, I know for a fact that I am not alone in saying that my heart rate monitor doesn’t work. 

For those unfamiliar with the online PE class, students have a band that tracks their heart rate and exercise. The band awards the students points called meps when they reach their target heart rate and the amount of meps the student scores reflects in his or her grade. 

The idea of the class is awesome; Students who exercise regularly outside of class don’t have to add another 45 minutes of action to their day in the form of a PE class.

As a student athlete, this is set up perfectly for me. I run at practice every day for an extensive amount of time and work my cardio. Given that my teammates and I can take online PE, we should be able to complete the weekly requirement with ease. After all, we are already exercising. However, going back to the problem, my monitor isn’t working. I’m not the only one. And there lies the problem.

I think that student athletes – at least most sports – should take online PE differently. The heart rate monitors don’t turn on, turn off abruptly, aren’t on tight enough, don’t upload properly, award nullified meps, award no meps for rigorous activity, the list continues. It seems that every break during practice is allotted to trying to figure out the rocket science behind turning the band on or making it work.

With that being said, why can’t athletes enrolled in online PE have a coach testify that they were present during practice and performing the necessary exercise to fill the requirement? We work incredibly hard and we absolutely work our bodies to an extent which keeps us healthy.

This would solve a problem for a lot of students who exercise regularly without success with their heart monitor. 

This problem is larger than you might think. 

One example of the unjust monitor system is my friend on the cross country team. All too often, she complains of her heart rate monitor giving her 0 meps despite long runs each day during practice.

You can’t tell me she isn’t doing far beyond the daily exercise encouraged by PE class. 

Obviously, there would have to be some exceptions. 

Bowling, although it is a great team, for example, doesn’t exactly constitute daily exercise as encouraged by PE class. 

In that case, students should still have to wear monitors to ensure they exercise on their own. 

But what about the fact that sometimes the monitors don’t work?

I think that despite the fact that most student athletes deserve to be exempt from the monitor as a result of their substantial exercise either way, we need to set up a better system of organization for online PE. 

Many students have never even seen what their teacher looks like and many more have limited access to that teacher for help in the class. 

Teachers need to have a time where students can come in and talk to them about any concerns they are having. Whether this is a zoom call they could join or a form of office hours, it is incredibly difficult for students to try and schedule a meeting time with a teacher who may not be available when they are.

If teachers could more easily help fix the monitors, and students could understand how to use them a little more, the class would be far improved.

In addition, if athletes weren’t met with struggle as a result of their hard work, but instead fulfilled the PE requirement with their efforts at practice, the system would be much fairer.

+ posts