The benefits of being a student athlete
Learning life lessons are common throughout high school. Whether it’s inside a classroom or doing activities outside of school, they keep the knowledge they have gained with them for years. A lot of these lessons can be taught through sports. These lessons teach student-athletes how to collaborate and work as a team, they teach them that nothing is ever earned without effort put in, and make athletes realize the importance of practice.
One of the many life lessons that high school sports can teach teenagers is exactly how to represent their community. Student-athletes will learn to act and speak in a way that would shine a positive light on their school. This directly connects to how the teens will live out their lives.
“Last season, we played a 14- inning game against Spruce Creek,” Junior Kendall Walsh of varsity softball said. “After a tough loss, we had to show them sportsmanship. This was not all that easy considering we were all tired and disappointed, but I was proud of my team for that.”
The competition that comes with sports can form a friendly rivalry between cities and schools, keeping the competition alive. The team captain or not, high school sports provide students a chance to develop leadership skills that they might not have obtained without them. The upperclassmen value their time playing at a higher level of competition but also value the teachable moments for the players under them. Uniquely, athletics can supply many teachable moments. A tough loss, a buzzer-beater, the rush of adrenaline after a big win.
“It is important for athletes to learn teamwork, discipline, and good sportsmanship,” Senior Mary Boerboom, a varsity basketball, and volleyball player said. “Helping younger players is important to me because it makes me appreciate the upperclassmen that helped me when I was there at one time.”
Athletics and exercise produce hormones within a student’s growing mind. These hormones are called “endorphins” and are directly connected to stress. Essentially, the more exercise, the more endorphins, the more energy and motivation that a student has to conduct their daily work. Exercise improves weight distribution, improves circulation and range of motion. All of these factors could boost the athlete’s confidence.
“It is important for athletes to exercise to keep their body in shape and up to par for their sport,” junior Jaylen Parrish of swim said. “This helps with endurance and strength that will benefit your performance in your sport. It also helps keep your muscles loose so you don’t pull anything or get injured.”
While many sports require a team effort, an individual victory is always key. Whether yours is an assist, a touchdown, a good shot or a home run, these make a team work harder to achieve victory as a team.
“In my experience, a team is only as good as their weakest player,” senior softball player Briana Whaley said. “The game is all about building each other up. The way your team plays reflects you. It is all about making each other stronger if you want to win games.”
When high school has since past, these athletes will be able to reflect on the legacy they have made for themselves and the mark that they have made in another student’s athletic career. The opportunity is there, will you take it?