Researchers and experts all agree that sports have significant physical, psychological and social benefits for human beings. Sports form part of an integral education and must be encouraged from an early age. In this sense, schools play a fundamental role.
In Spain, these proven and recognised benefits are established as a right in the Sports law, which sets out that physical education and sports form part of an integral education. Therefore, as an important component of our country’s education system, it must be regulated by law. In Spain, physical education is compulsory in all levels of schooling up to university.
At the Best Schools in Spain, we encourage sports not only as part of the school curriculum, but also through extracurricular activities that offer students a whole host of options, giving them the opportunity to choose and play the sport they want. Furthermore, our schools take part in sports competitions and activities all over Spain. This adds even more value to sports such as teamwork, the effort necessary to train and reach our goals, respect for our rivals or team spirit to achieve common objectives.
High-performance sport at the Best Schools in Spain
After recognising the importance of sport and establishing its compulsory nature, there are obviously certain needs in terms of some sporting activities, particularly regarding competition level sport and high-performance or elite sport. The personal and integral development of elite athletes is more complicated when it comes to their academic education and possible future outside of the sporting world.
When sport becomes a student’s professional dream and they reach competition level, there are many times when it is difficult to strike a balance between their sports training and their school studies. Such cases can lead to pressure and overexertion, and the student-athlete must be supported and monitored to ensure they are successful.
There are several financial and infrastructure-related measures in place to support student athletes, but academic and guidance actions are also necessary. The Best Schools in Spain believe that this support is required to ensure that the educational process is adapted to the particular conditions, circumstances and situations of these students with specific educational needs.
The aim of these students is to take part in elite competition, but they also have to methodically split their time between their studies and training.
Being an elite athlete as well as a good student is a great challenge, as both things require a large dose of discipline, organisation, sacrifice and determination.
For years, there have been private educational institutions that take care of these students and provide pioneering and innovative programmes that combine studies and elite sport. The aim of these programmes is to give students the chance to balance their studies with elite sport at all educational levels, even university.
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Programmes for students and high-performance athletes
In order to meet the demands and needs of these individualised programmes for students that are also beginning to grow as elite athletes, firstly we need sports facilities and complexes specifically designed for top-class athletes to practise their discipline.
Nonetheless, these programmes also have other characteristics that offer students the chance to:
- Enjoy flexible school hours in order to have enough time to fulfil their sport, training and competition commitments.
- Have training systems and programmes that are in line with the student’s sporting level, developing different parameters (technical, tactical, physical and mental) to allow athletes to progress towards the elite level.
- Learn the appropriate strategies to manage their time correctly and therefore make the most of the hours they spend studying.
- Have the best experts available to meet the academic and emotional needs of student athletes, such as educators, tutors, and a guidance department to orient them in any aspect necessary.
- Receive specific dietary guidance, supervised by a nutritional specialist and adapted to the athlete’s energy needs.
- Have access to a coaching and psychological and mental support service, which is highly important for students that combine studies and elite sport, with the discipline and effort that this involves.
- Attend medicine, nutrition and physiotherapy services.
- Work on education through sport, which has a positive impact on student development thanks to the values it offers.
In Spain, there are measures and programmes in place to facilitate competition sport, while also simultaneously adapting the student’s educational development, projects that strive to guarantee that athletes also achieve success in their studies.
The Best Schools in Spain’s aim lies in ensuring that students never have to choose between their sporting career and their academic studies so that they can fully develop in a personal and professional sense both now and in the future, when their active sporting career comes to an end and they have to find their professional path.