From 3:00 to 6:00, what do you do? Some people hang out with friends. Others study. Many people are on a sports team, which can take up lots of time. Practices, games, and tournaments are lots of fun but are huge wasters of time. As a athlete, you want to succeed in sports, but as a student, you want to excel in academics. But to succeed in anything, you need to put in the effort. But effort takes time, which is a limited resource. How could someone balance school and sports? Why would someone do sports over clubs? What do they teach?
Well, sports teach us how to manage our time better. If you leave home at 7 and get back at 6, you have to be able to get things done on time. You need to finish your homework, eat dinner, study for tests, and get ready for the next day. Sleep is an especially important thing for the body’s health and recovery. It has been scientifically proven that there is a direct relationship between the amount of sleep and feelings of stress and depression. If your body is not given the time to recover from the day, it won’t be prepared to deal with the next day. Scholar athletes need to be able to complete these things before a certain time to ensure a perfect balance. Therefore, we may have to sacrifice some free time. We may not have as much time to socialize with friends. However, this situation simulates a day in the life of an adult. Adults have to be mature in their decisions on how to spend their time. They need to take responsibility for their actions. Sometimes, they need to make sacrifices. Participating in time-demanding activities will instill these values in high schoolers and will teach them how to live a balanced lifestyle.
Math class teaches you calculus and how to use the Pythagorean theorem. History teaches you about kings and the wars they fought. In the process, these classes teach students how to apply logic to solve problems and how to develop a good memory. Similarly, sports teach athletes life lessons. Volleyball taught me how to pass, set, and hit a ball. But my experiences in the team taught me how to be confident and passionate. It gave me something to believe in and fight for. I made mistakes, I shook them off, and I learned from them. My team supported me through my journey and taught me to never give up. Movies like Rocky only grasp the true feelings an athlete has when they reach their goals. While the taste of defeat is bitter, success is truly worth the sacrifices athletes make to reach their goals.
It is important to know that you can learn something from anything. Sports are very competitive and push people to be outside their comfort zone. It gives you a home away from home, a family inside the school. However, it is interesting to note that team sports and individual sports teach athletes different values. Feeling bold, I decided to join the track team this year. Although the practices were very hard, everyone bonded over the sweat. I gained a stronger sense of independence and competitiveness. While there were a few team events, track is mainly an individual sport. As a runner, you have to be mentally prepared to face your opponents, especially when they’re from your own school. Volleyball, on the other hand, gives players a sense of interdependence. We had to learn how to work together smoothly to ensure that the ball never touched the floor on our side of the court. The sport gave us respect for each other. Regardless, sports spur on character growth and allow athletes to become more mature.
I can not express in words how happy I am to learn so much from sports. I’ve gotten the chance to befriend many interesting people while doing something I love. I try to apply what I have learnt to everyday life. While the journey seems tough, the destination makes it worth the hard work. I strongly encourage people to try out for a sports team next year. The amount of things sports teach players will be carried on for life. I am looking forward to next year for American High’s athletics (and ready to become number one in the league)! GO EAGLES!!