LA River School

Playing high school sports is a once in a lifetime opportunity

Teenagers often think about playing sports in high school, but when it’s time for tryouts they doubt themselves and don’t even try. I think teens should join a high school team, because being on a team teaches lots of things like communication skills, how to be supportive, responsibility and it is just really really fun. It feels even better when you know you’ve put so much hard work and the sacrifices you make aren’t a waste.

I played basketball for two seasons and track and field for one season. When you’re on a team you learn how to work with others even if you don’t like them, which you will encounter your whole life. Communication skills in a sport is key to winning and if you have communication on the team, expect to have a successful season full of growth and friendship. When I first tried out for the team I remember having a lot of anxiety and very fearful of what’s expected. But I soon learned that if you asked what you need to work on and show the coaching staff that you’re serious about playing the sport and developing they will lend you a helping hand. They aren’t there to tell you that you suck or just give up, they will help you improve so that they also learn how to be a better coach.

The practices of the sports that I’ve played feel really hard and sometimes you feel the need to quit. But these practices aren’t meant to break your physical and mental spirit, they are meant to push you to your limits. Practices will build you up and evolve you into a great athlete and a better person. In practices you will learn to encourage others and they will do so back. What I’ve learned is if you’re not being a team player, people don’t really want to work with you and will most likely ignore you. On a team you can’t be selfish, you have to put you and your teammates in the best possible position to win.

The beginning of the season is where you’ll be either really nervous or really excited. For my first game I was both. I really wanted to play and show everyone how much better I’ve gotten, but I was also really nervous because I was afraid I was going to mess up. You’ll probably feel the same. If you do mess up, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll get another shot at it and you have your teammates to back you up. The games you play in are really competitive and you’ll feel way more tired in game than in practices, you’ll also feel the pressure of your opponents hoping that you’ll mess up.

When your season is all said and done, you’ll want to come back and do it all over again. But that means the tryouts and the rigorous practices. You’ll feel so accomplished when you finish your season with whatever record you have that you’ll want to just do it again and again. You also get to know lots of people from other schools and gain new rivalries that will just help you push yourself harder and harder in order to beat that person or team.

I think playing high school sports will teach a teen about responsibility and encouragement a lot more than reading about it or just watching it. The experience you get from joining a team is an indescribable adventure full of fun and hardships that will teach you to persevere and learn from past decisions. I encourage all teens to try a high school sport and maybe you might just fall in love with the sport.