The Benefits of Participating in High School Sports

The Benefits of Participating in High School Sports

Emma Herder, Staff Reporter

The decision to play sports during the school year is a common concern most high schoolers run into. When teachers constantly remind their students that ‘school should always come first,’ it may seem like one’s life should only revolve around schoolwork in order to play it safe. I believe, however, that in order to succeed in high school, all students should confidently take on the risk of playing a high school sport.

Freshman year, I told myself that I would have no problem playing a fall sport, since school would not be too challenging during my first semester. My theory was eventually proven correct, and I was able to balance out soccer practices with grades that I was proud of.

After soccer season ended, I was excited to improve my grades and focus more on my schoolwork. However, I slowly realized that this was not as easy as it sounded. I simply did not want to dedicate my whole life to homework, yet I also did not have anything productive to do with my free time. My grades during my off season even ended up being the exact same as my grades during the season.

My sister noticed my concerns and then suggested I do track with her. I instantly wanted to deny the offer, as I had mostly enjoyed having no after school commitments. The day before spring signups were due, though, I was convinced to join track.

To my surprise, track did not interfere with my grades, and it even helped me in more ways than one. I found that the opportunities to accomplish my academic goals were there, I just needed to take advantage of them.

Once I made the few academic adjustments (either doing my homework before a game/meet or finishing homework on the bus ride to the meet), I started looking forward to practice. It helped my life feel balanced.

I knew that working out with my friends was much more beneficial than it was to hang out with my friends and sit around, like I did during the winter season. I even had the opportunities to establish friendships with upperclassmen that I would never have talked to had it not been for track.

In fact, I would argue that working out with friends, both old and new, can actually direct students to academic success. If students know that they have an opportunity to beneficially spend time with their friends after school, they may focus more in class and not get distracted by their friends. That way, school can truly ‘come first,’ as teachers have requested.

On top of the previously stated reasons, all sports have the ability to create memories and connections that can not be found in school. School rewards students with grades, but not all successful students can be rewarded with the opportunity athletes have to go to championships, state, or regionals.

While school is not a choice and sports are, I encourage everyone to not just focus on school, but to instead make a beneficial choice and participate in sports as well.

For anyone who just joined a spring sport, make sure that you remember that the qualities produced from being a good student can transfer over into the sports seasons, and vice versa. When school responsibilities are in unison with sport responsibilities, both will have the power to pay off in the end. 

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