Are High School sports worth our time?

There’s more to high school sports than meets the eye

School sports could be negatively impacting academic performance.

School sports could be negatively impacting academic performance.

Lila Emery, Staff Writer

Playing sports in high school is something that has become part of American high school culture. Not only do high school sports create opportunities to make friendships, they provide moments to make memories that last a lifetime.

Some, though, may not agree. Of course, to every pro, there tends to be a con around the corner.

For example, sports in high school make it harder for students to prioritize their work. As a result, stress levels increase, grades decrease, and the whole season can end up being more worrisome than it is fun.

In American schools, sports are part of the culture (opposed to most schools in Europe and Asia where school-sponsored sports are hard to come by. Most overseas schools do not provide athletic programs). Could this be the reason America’s standardized test scores are lower nationally compared to the rest of the world?

It could be argued that sports in school are completely unproductive. Students have a far better chance of succeeding in life if they finish school than if they pursue their sport. Even if they attend college for their sport, grades are often the last thing on an athlete’s list of priorities.

Additionally, some high school season sports occur during the usual rest period for the competitive league. This has potential to lead to an increased risk of injury and mental exhaustion.

With all these factors in mind, the benefits to playing a high school sport outweigh the down sides.

High school sports build skills and promote a less stressful environment than club sports.

Having the opportunity to play your desired sport in school can give extra practice and therefore help improve skills for the club season. For certain sports, especially at the non-varsity level, the high school version prioritizes fun over stress, which can actually have very positive effects. Relaxing a bit can really enhance skills and help the athlete discover new abilities.

Being among friends can increase an athlete’s enjoyment and add to the whole experience. Of course, playing the same sport as your best friend is fun, but even without close companions, sports are a great place to form new relationships. For freshmen especially, starting out the year with a group of friends can help eliminate some of the stress associated with starting high school.

High school sports create relationships in the most unlikely of places. Being part of a team requires everyone to support each other. As a result, deep connections are often formed and last long after the season has ended.

Undoubtedly, close bonds are formed, but teams can sometimes be a perfect place for rivalries to thrive. Whether it be between teammates or coaches, there always seems to be one or two people who ruffle some feathers. Rather than this being a bad thing, dealing with difficult people is something that will always be part of life. Learning how to handle frustrating situations is a crucial life skill. Playing a sport, specifically in high school, encourages growth not only as an athlete but as a person as a whole.

Friday night football games are an unforgettable experience in high school.

Another major benefit of participating in sports is that they are entertaining. Most can agree that Friday night football games are something to look forward to every week. Sports are a place for everyone to come together and bond. It creates a sense of community and belonging. Since WWI people have flocked to baseball games for comfort; more than 100 years later, not much has changed.

Finally, arguably the most important aspect of high school sports are the unforgettable memories. Not just the playing but everything in between. Messing around before practice, team dinners, winning games, chanting from the stands, and the euphoric feeling of cheering Broomfield to victory are just a few of the cherishable memories that are more important than anything else.

Years from now these memories will be what athletes look back on with nostalgia, not the B- they earned in sophomore language arts.