Great at Sports but Lazy at School?

At Starbucks not too long ago, I overheard a group if young teenage girls talking about a softball tournament they had just participated in. They talked excitedly and knowledgeably about the game for a while, and then the conversation turned to school. One of the girls said about her performance at school,

“I’m really lazy and not that smart.”

The girls were sitting behind me, so I couldn’t even see them, but as teenage girls often do, they were speaking quite loudly. They came across as highly motivated, intelligent, capable girls. Not one sounded “lazy” or “not smart.”

Lazy may become a coping strategy or a way to avoid things that are really difficult, but In my 29 years of helping children and adults correct their learning and attention challenges, I have yet to meet one for whom LAZY is the root cause of their struggles in school.

How is it that some students can be so exceptional at sports, yet perpetually struggle in school?

Academic success depends upon a solid foundation of cognitive learning skills. If you think about these skills like a ladder or a continuum, academics and school subjects are at the very top. Many other skills must be in place in order to learn easily at the top of the ladder. When the underlying skills, or skills lower on the continuum are weak, they may keep children and adults from learning and functioning as well and as independently as they should.

It’s sometimes easier emotionally for a struggling student to become “lazy” than to try so hard and fail anyway. When otherwise smart and motivated children and teens seem “lazy” or “not that smart in school,” it may be time to explore the underlying skills that support efficient learning.

JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Meeting to better understand what is going on with your child’s learning and what can be done to move him or her from “lazy and not that smart” to confident, successful student.

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