Stereotypes and Athlete

Shaylee Smith Megan Montgomery English 1113 17 October 2011 Jock stereotype Stereotypes are different thoughts that a variation of people hold about people who are different from them. A stereotype can be associated with a single word or slogan; such as nerd, or jock. Stereotypes can be expressed in either a negative or positive way. Most people apply stereotypes in a negative way to make them feel more superior over others. The category that most people would place me under would be the classification of an athlete or jock. The jock title that I have been placed under has been with me pretty much my entire life.

I have played sports since I was four years old when I first started playing soccer and tee ball. From that moment on I have been active in almost every sport that my school has to offer. In high school the title was strongly addressed to me when the upper classmen did not know who I was. They would refer to me as the freshmen softball player or the soccer goalie. I have held the title strongly for a very long while. Even though I do not play sports now in college I still get asked if I play sports just because of the way I dress; I guess when you are just use to having that title it sticks with you.

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The category of a jock can possess many different stereotypes from dumb jock, lesbians, and also stuck up popular kids and many more. The stereotype of “jock” has many different titles and classification that goes along with that specific stereotype. You have the very popular “dumb jock” title that goes far back in to history and almost everyone has heard of. The title of dumb jock is suggesting that athletes do not have very high success in the class room. Most people think that the only thing jocks think about is there sport and not their homework or class work.

Unlike most people I was ranked in the top ten in my graduating class which is a pretty elite title. However being successful at my class work and studies most people think I did not work for it. Classmates start to assume that you really do not earn the grade; you are just given it for being an athlete. That assumption does not fit meat all; I study on the way to and from games to earn that grade. There were many late nights in high school when I would get home from an away game and still have plenty of homework to get done, and I would spend many hours after late games doing homework or just studying.

I spent many hours after practice, on the way to game and on the way home from games studying just so I can make that grade that I strived for. I believe that being an athlete really helped me want to succeed on my class work, having that desire to want to be the best and have great success. The title “dumb jock” is starting to be redefined in this generation. Many jocks have higher grade point averages than regular students that do not participate in sports. The average graduation success rate for student athletes that began college in the year 2003 was 79%.

This rate has continually been the same for the past two years and continues to be the highest graduation success rate in division I history. NCAA President Mark Emmert stated that “The data continues to erase the perception of the so called “dumb jock”. There is much other classification of different types of jocks in the world. Another stereotype that focuses on the female athlete is being classified as a lesbian. I have been stereotyped as a lesbian many different times on account of being a softball player. The stereotype is addressed to many female athletes but is strongly associated with softball players.

It is more difficult for females to be athlete because they are required to possess male like characteristics. The male like characteristics that female athletes possess are speed, strength and competiveness and if women produce those characteristics they are judged as a lesbian. I know most people think that most female athletes look manlier than other women. The cause of female athletes looking manlier is because when men and women work out they produce testosterone. The more testosterone a female produces is what gives her more manly characteristics; being an athlete call for you to work out and stay in the best physical shape.

Another stereotype that comes along with jock is the stuck up or popular when really you are just a leader. At Commerce high school if you are a “jock” you pretty much have to succeed in everything you participate in. From the playing field to the class room and beyond at Commerce if you are an athlete you are the best. When you are from a small town you are just expect to be involved in everything. As a small town athlete, you participate in all the sports we have, and you are good at everything. You are involved in all the big clubs and organizations.

More than likely you are the president or a high ranked officer in those clubs and organizations. As an athlete you are just a born leader, you step up when the time is needed and that is why you are such a good leader. This is why you are most likely the president of a club or a organizer of a school event. As an athlete you are put in key situations when there is a whole entire team riding on you, and in the key moment you either break down or succeed. When being an athlete for so long it is just a part of you to be a leader. You learn and adapt to step up when the time is needed. However, your peers see it in a lot different way.

They just think you are a president or vice president because you think you are better than everyone. I believe that kids in high school are making stereotypes much worse than what they really should be. If the kids would look at the fact that athletes are just born leaders and it is easy for them to step up and take charge or command. It is not that the athletes are just stuck up or think they are better it is just natural to take charge when they are needed. They kids are finally getting rid of the title the dumb jock by succeeding in the class rooms but they are only falling under much harsher categories now.

I think that being an athlete has taught me great amount of things on and off the field. I have learned how to play as a team with people that are my best friends and people that I cannot stand, but you put that all aside when you step on the field. Being an athlete has also taught me to only except the best out of myself and to not settle with anything less. People do stereotype jocks badly by different characteristics but some of them are the best characteristics that an athlete could possibly possess.