The hidden pressures and challenges of high school sports

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Universally, sports are known for being something positive to be participating in, but there are many negative aspects that go under the radar. One of the downsides of being a high school athlete is facing disparaging remarks from opposing teams. Some concerning news in our community is that some members of the football team here at Washington have gotten random messages from opposing teams talking about how they are going to lose. Varsity defensive end Philip Garza was asked about the cryptic messages. “It was a very scary situation to be in seeing these random messages from people saying that they were going to beat us up,” he said. “Our coaches told us to just ignore it and let our game do the talking.” When questioned on how this affects preparation for the game, he stated, “It just added fuel to the fire and made us play harder but was definitely a scary situation to be in.” He agreed that this added more pressure to perform better in the game and called it “unnecessary and a distraction that could have been avoided.” These messages made student athletes uncomfortable, but they handled it well.

Still, there are many more negative things that can happen when you join a sports team. One of them is managing your time with school commitments and trying to fit in sports with your school schedule.“ We have practice Monday through Friday after school and it is hard because you have a large amount of homework to do and also have to focus on track,” says junior varsity track and field athlete Joseph Yasuda. “It is always a challenge to do because you are always stressed if you can finish your homework and still attend practices.” When asked how time consuming sports are, he states, “Sports take a lot out of you when you also have to be a good student. A lot of energy is used to do all the work done in school like taking notes and studying for quizzes and tests. Then you have to find more energy to attend practice let alone do 100 plus meter runs. Sports do take a lot of time and energy out of your body.” Playing sports can create imbalances in life when being a student and apply a lot of extra stress that can impact their performance at school.

Participating in sports, especially in high school, is known to be a great activity for making new friends, causing less stress, making students forget about homework, and can be a calming place for students that are going through something traumatic in their personal life. But playing sports in high school has a lot of negative aspects that don’t seem to get recognition. Negative circumstances that can result from playing sport include injuries, stress from school that impacts performance, and negative messages coming from social media. When thinking about joining sports, think about all of the obstacles that you can face and how you can overcome them.

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