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Unlocking Potential

Every Student Should Play a Sport in High School

Photo by Laura Zaidan/Maclay Andalusian

High school is a pivotal time in a student’s life, filled with academic challenges, social experiences and opportunities for personal growth. Among the numerous extracurricular activities available, participating in sports stands out as the best option to get involved in school. Not only are sports good for your physical well-being, but you can meet new people, stay healthy and find a possible new activity that you enjoy doing.

Sports participation goes beyond the realm of physical activity; it also fosters the development of essential life skills. Team sports, in particular, teach students the value of teamwork, cooperation and effective communication. Learning to work with teammates towards a common goal instills important values that are applicable not only in sports, but also in academics, careers and personal relationships. Participating in sports also can build character, by fostering qualities such as resilience, perseverance and sportsmanship. Students learn how to overcome challenges and push themselves to achieve their goal. These experiences contribute to their personal growth and help to shape students into well-rounded individuals.

“Being a captain for multiple sports has taught me many leadership skills,” senior Victoria Gainey said. “I can take leadership skills that I have learned in one sport into the other, which have taught me how to be a leader outside of sports.”

One of the biggest reasons for students to get involved in sports is the positive impact on both their physical and mental health. Consistent participation in sports promotes physical fitness, and also has been linked to reduce stress, anxiety and other negative symptoms. By participating in sports, students have an outlet to release pent-up energy and emotions, leading to improved emotional well-being and better stress management skills.

Aside from the personal benefits of being a part of a team, sports offer a platform for students to socialize with peers who share similar interests, fostering friendships and a sense of belonging. Being part of a team creates a supportive community where students can form lasting bonds and memories that extend beyond their high school years.

Balancing sports with academic responsibilities requires students to develop strong discipline and time management skills. They must learn to prioritize tasks, manage their schedules efficiently and maintain focus on both their athletic and academic pursuits. These skills are invaluable assets that will serve students well throughout their lives. Being involved in sports can also provide many leadership opportunities, which can give students a step-up into developing leadership skills that are beneficial in many aspects. Whether as team captains, mentors to younger players or role models for their peers, learning to lead effectively instills confidence and prepares students for future leadership positions.

“While playing sports in high school, I have learned multiple skills that have helped me manage my time,” freshman Kate Hartmann said. “Time management, how to manage my schoolwork and still have a social life are some skills that I have developed that have helped me in and outside of school.” 

Participating in high school sports offers a multitude of benefits that extend far beyond the field. From promoting physical health and mental-well being to fostering important life skills and character development, sports play a vital role in shaping the holistic development of students. Therefore, every student should consider trying a sport, not only for the immediate benefits, but also for the long-term impact on their personal growth and success in life.


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Andy Poll

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