Math majors vs. athletes

<p>This has been bothering me lately, and may be a ridiculous topic, but I'm really curious what take you guys have on this.</p>

<p>It seems like very few "athletic" people--let alone actual varsity student-athletes--are math majors. Do you think it's a 'lack' of intellect, or is math just too time-consuming for athletes?</p>

<p>Do you guys know any student-athletes at your respective schools who are math majors?</p>

<p>Playing a sport myself, I've realized that it's very hard to concentrate and actually indulge myself into math, since math isn't something that you can just browse and let be. So it seems that if I really wanted to succeed in either a sport or math, I'd have to choose one or the other...anyone else ever get this feeling? I wonder whether there's a psychological basis for it.</p>

<p>My friend who is a math major isn't into sports, but he's into lifting and is really strong. I think he can squat like 250 lbs or something. He has time to do both. He is pretty smart. I guess lifting isn't as big a time commitment as playing a sport though. </p>

<p>I am also a math major and spend a lot of time studying, but that is mostly because unlike a majority of people in my classes I am genuinely interested in math and am much more interested in making sure I understand concepts rather than how to do problems.</p>

<p>If math majors play a sport, it's usually cross country/track. I don't know why, XC always has the smartest kids.</p>

<p>I have a friend at Clemson who's a math major and plays baseball.</p>

<p>Here are the other sports at Clemson with math majors:
Women's Cross Country (1)
Men's Swimming (2)
Women's Track & Field (2)
Women's Rowing (2)
Women's Soccer (1)</p>

<p>Yeah, math is time-consuming and doesn't leave much time for anything else. You have to spend time internalizing, which means you can't just have good time-management skills and pull things off. </p>

<p>Math majors definitely have time to relax, but to have extra commitments of that sort is pretty damaging. I think one would fail at both the math major and the athletics quite likely.</p>

<p>However, I do also know mathematicians who stay very fit and/or are extremely strong. Being fit is something you can do as any major, I think, if you're so inclined.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Watch Bruin senior star cornerback and mathematics-applied science major Alterraun Verner talk about the rewards of tackling quarterbacks on the field and math proofs off the field in My Big UCLA Moment. Verner was named to the pre-season “Watch List” for the Lott Trophy and is a two-time Pac-10 All-Academic team player.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>They filmed a commercial for the school featuring him talking about being a math major. They also filmed one about an offensive lineman that ended up as a Rhodes Scholar, and there are a bunch of others that feature athletes that went on to become PhD's, MD's, etc.</p>

<p>broken_symlink, I wouldn't consider someone strong if they only squat around 250 lbs. I used to squat 425 lbs when I was really into weightlifting and I weighted 185 back then.</p>

<p>yea 250 lb squat isn't that strong, though it may be way above-average for math majors. It's all relative.</p>

<p>"tackling quarterbacks on the field and math proofs off the field"</p>

<p>that was cornier than an Iowa farm</p>

<p>I had a friend in high school who was absolutely amazing at math, and a star track athlete.
But then again, he was also really good on the piano...</p>

<p>Just good at everything, haha. </p>

<p>I don't think math is more time consuming than anything else if you're doing it the right way....thinking efficiently. Not sure how to explain :p.</p>

<p>I don't think math and athletics are mutually exclusive, but I do think that they appeal to different personalities. For example, math majors tend to be more introverted than the average college student (there are exceptions, of course) and athletes tend to be more outgoing (the ones I know, anyway).</p>

<p>I know a kid who's really good at math and science, is a really good football player, wrestler and runner and he's gonna be an aerospace engineering major. He's also a very friendly feller too... one of a kind.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I don't know why, XC always has the smartest kids.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Do you have a source for this? Years ago I can remember people trying to prove this and they never could because I don't think there is any correlation. In fact, I got the impression that some of the runners I knew were not very smart.</p>

<p>i doubt anyone's done a scientific study of it, Pea.</p>

<p>Running long distances can improve aerobic capacity, which Arthur Lydiard allowed for increased brainpower. I think there is some correlation at least, because the average ACT for the very competitive XC team I run on is about 30 (for the past 3 years; I don't know scores before that). I don't how many factors contribute to that, but I have noticed it. Also, I have considered majoring in math, and I plan to compete in college. However, I'm not there yet.</p>

<p>our american society has developed into a sad sad world. Society does not encourage studying or being good at math/science because it creates an attitude among people that math/science people do not get the girls and are generally unpopular. There is social pressure on guys that they need to be athletic and be on an athletic team in high school in order to be "cool". This is partly the explanation why it seems that so many athletes are horrible at math while math people are generally uninterested or bad at sports. </p>

<p>Other reasons..a ****ty high school system (along with a POS teacher union that we should break up), declining family values, decreasing work ethic among young americans, etc etc.</p>

<p>I don't get your reasoning. People want to be cool, so they do sports instead of focusing on math. Now they can't do math? And why are math people averse to sports? It seems like you have a a lot of claims but no specific proof. I'm not saying they're false though.</p>

<p>I swim for Lehigh and I'm a math major. I'm a distance swimmer, which requires the same mindset and endurance (but more muscles) as cross country, and I do really enjoy running. Math, distance swimming, and cross country are all relatively solitary pursuits, so that may be why they go together. However, I do not find the work of a math major to be terribly time consuming. The only other math majors and athletes I know of at Lehigh are a field hockey player and a pole vaulter. I find that in many sports, the male athletes gravitate toward business and the female athletes towards liberal arts (case in point: basketball). Other teams like swimming are very balanced.</p>

<p>no I never said they can't do math. Everyone can learn calculus if they wanted to. Race and body size doesn't matter. My point is that society suggests that athletes have the most fame, are the richest, and are the most popular in school. You don't hear about people like bill gates on the news, and if you do, they aren't glorified or admired like professional athletes are.</p>

<p>This drives young boys to be athletic because only "nerds" do math while "cool" people are good at athletics. Its pathetic, if you think about how American society has become. In Korea/japan/china/europe/singapore, the best student is respected and admired, which is one reason why in those countries, everyone knows that being intelligent/good at math is a good thing. Not the case here.</p>

<p>Alright, I see what you're saying now. Ha, your post sounds VERY similar to this one essay I had to do an analysis on the other day for AP English practice.</p>