Culture shift present in high school sports
Ask yourself this question: Why do you play sports? Joe Athlete says it’s because he sees a future in the sport and spends every waking moment perfecting his skills, while Katie Captain plays purely for fun. Both of these athletes come together in high school to play on the same team. Personally, I believe sports should be played to have fun. If you aren’t having fun, maybe you should try something else.
I started playing soccer in second grade, and I had the time of my life because I could spend time with friends and make new ones. For example, in recreational leagues, nobody was too focused on the score because everybody was learning the basics of soccer.
Now, in high school, Joe Athlete has begun looking ahead to playing in college; he has spent time getting recruited and visiting colleges. This was not the reason I played soccer, so I decided to stop playing. The culture of the game changed from fooling around and having fun to worrying about sports and colleges. Many kids who used to be like Katie Captain and played for fun now have other motives like Joe Athlete does for playing soccer.
Some athletes now play sports because they think colleges are more likely to accept them if they are athletes. They suffer through tough practices and injuries to better their chances of getting into school. I think that is wrong because you should never feel obligated to play a sport. If you play a sport, it should be because you want to not because you feel obligated to.
In some cases, students don’t have a choice over what sports they play. Occasionally, parents dictate which sports their kids play. This may be due to the sports they played in school or the type of child they want. However, I feel it is important to play a sport that you enjoy, not one that your parents enjoy.
From my experiences, sports can bring teammates closer. I have been on teams with many of my best friends. Whether it was tennis, soccer or even baseball, we were forced to work through problems and find solutions as a team. When teams overcome adversity, they become closer, which adds to the ‘fun’ of being on a team.
Regardless of the reason you are playing a particular sport if you are not having fun while playing it, it’s time for a change. Sports should start and remain fun for all participants. If you play a sport for a different reason, consider finding a new sport or activity.