The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

[COFFEE WITH CLARA] Ep. 6 Raven Glaser enjoys sports that decenter competition

McKoy: Hi, you’re listening to the sixth and final episode of Coffee with Clara. I’m your host, Clara McKoy, and today I’m chatting with junior Raven Glaser about their hobby-oriented experience with sports throughout childhood. Enjoy the episode.

All right, so welcome to Coffee with Clara, Raven. To start, will you please share your name, grade and pronouns?

Glaser: Yes, my name is Raven. I am a junior and I use they/them pronouns.

McKoy: So what are you drinking today?

Glaser: I have a sparkling green tea lemonade with a shot of raspberry and no caffeine.

McKoy: Cool. And I’m drinking a iced mint condition mocha. So tell me a little bit about your experience with sports throughout your childhood.

Glaser: Yeah, I think I mainly played … so I did gymnastics starting when I was maybe four or five up until sophomore year. So last year. And I think I took a year or two off during Covid, just because of gyms and everyone together. And I’ve also done soccer since I was really little and I still play it, but only at school—I don’t do club soccer. And I did a martial art until maybe freshman year as well.

McKoy: Amazing. So you’ve kind of done a lot of different things.

Glaser: Yes.

McKoy: Which has been the most important to you, or the most significant?

Glaser: Gymnastics holds a really special place, I think, for me because it was a sport that I got to do with my sister. Whereas soccer because of our difference in ages, we didn’t really get to play on the same team. So it’s really cool getting to, be with her. But I think it also is a team sport in the sense that you practice together and everything but at the end of the day it comes down to you. Your performance is solely your own.

McKoy: Tell me a little bit about your relationship to soccer, and what martial art did you do?

Glaser: Aikido.

McKoy: Tell me a little bit about your relationship with those.

Glaser: I did a lot of St. Paul Community Soccer, HGRA. And so I think it was definitely a lot more informal than a lot of people’s club sports. I think for me, soccer has always just been kind of something that I do more for fun and on the side, rather than a core, central part of me. And I think that definitely, I mean, I’m still on JV, but I think for me, I just I view it more as like a fun hobby, rather than like something’s really truly competitive and whatnot, which is a concept that made a difference.

And Aikido, I’ve done for a while and it’s mainly like a self defense martial art, just to focus on attacking and more so defending oneself in the event of an attack. It can give me a bit more confidence, I think.

McKoy: Do you think sports should be an important part in every child’s life? What role do you think sports play in a child’s life?

Glaser: Yeah, I mean, I think sports when they’re done well, I think sports can give a good sense of community. And they can help to foster that nice relationship with other people. I know my coaches have sometimes been really big people in my life. I don’t think it’s really that every single person has to play a sport because not every person will like them. But I think finding that activity, and that community surrounding that activity that you really enjoy, I think that those can be really valuable because you can learn a lot from the people around you.

McKoy: What does a sport done well mean to you? Or what is an example of a sport not done well?

Glaser: I think, well, when I think of, like, times that I’ve done HGRA soccer there’s certain kids whose parents have had to just force them to play cause they’re, like, “a sport is a good thing to do. So go play soccer.” And then the kid isn’t really engaged. And like they don’t really want to be there. It shows in their attitude and the way they play and everything and it just doesn’t create a very fun experience for anybody involved. If you want people to do sports, I think push them to find things that interest them, rather than trying to just like picking something and being like, “do that” because it’s just going to end with both sides a little bit more than happy I think.

McKoy: Yeah, totally. It sounds like a lot of what you’re saying is choice is really important and the first sport that you try out or the first activity you try for that matter might not necessarily stick and that’s okay.

Glaser: Yeah, for sure.

McKoy: How much choice did you get in the sports that you did? And how, how was the decision made for you to try out Aikido, soccer and gymnastics?

…Sometimes coming away from stuff for a little bit can be a good way to kind of see its value again, I think.

— Raven Glaser

Glaser: Um, I need to think about this for a second. So gymnastics started when I was really little. So I don’t 100% remember how I got into it. But I know every year I was asked, “do you still want to continue doing gymnastics? Like, is this something that still interest you?” And just, you know, always making sure that it was still something that I really wanted to pursue rather than something that they were interested in. I think that was always like a way for me to just kind of like reevaluate where I was with the sport and that kind of stuff. In terms of soccer, similarly, I started when I was really little, so I don’t remember, but I was always the one asking my parents to sign me up again for each year and when it came time for like school sports in middle school and high school, I was always the one signing up for that. So I think once again, it was like, kind of on me. And Aikido … I think I started Aikido because I wanted to do a martial art and my parents were like, “okay”, and they kind of did some digging and found Aikido and they were like “how’s this” and I really liked it. So I just kind of stuck with it.

McKoy: That’s amazing. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of control over all of that. Any other thoughts about, how sports can benefit someone’s life as they’re growing up or how they benefited your life. Are there lessons that you learned?

Glaser: Yeah, I think one thing that I gained, especially from gymnastics, where once again it’s like an individual sport, is to not compare oneself to others. Because I think what I would suggest is it’s really easy to look at where you are, and look at where like another kid is and be like, well, I can’t do that skill or I can’t do it as well as they can. And that was something I really struggled with a lot of times. Yeah, and I think for me, as well, with soccer, just recognizing where I am with it and that I don’t need to be the world’s best player. But that it’s just something I enjoy doing for fun. I think that kind of helps put things in perspective for me.

McKoy: What role do you see sports playing in your life as you continue to get older?

Glaser: Yeah, I think honestly, I only quit gymnastics because my coach kind of left and I wasn’t really sure where to go. But I think I do kind of want to still continue to find ways to just like like open gyms was the healing practice in my free time because once again, for me sports, like a fun hobby. And I think similarly with soccer, like there’s a lot of things out there so but I will be at and like, you know, either college or afterwards. Just like finding the extent similar people.

McKoy: What advice would you give someone in high school—someone your age, or our age, I guess, who’s trying to kind of navigate their relationship with sports right now? What would you say to them?

Glaser: I think currently my parents have always asked me like, “do you still want to do it?” Right? And that doesn’t necessarily mean that if you don’t do it one year, you are going to quit altogether. But maybe you need some time to just reevaluate why you enjoyed the sport in the first place, and maybe gain a healthier perspective because sometimes coming away from stuff for a little bit can be a good way to kind of see its value again, I think.

McKoy: Cool. Thank you so much. Thanks for coming on. Thank you so much for listening to this final installment of Coffee With Clara. Looking for more? Check out my previous episodes featuring Atari Ernst, Violet Benson, Mehmet Arey, Isaac Broderius and Sydney Zimmerman.

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About the Contributor
Clara McKoy
Clara McKoy, Director of The Rubicon Online
My name is Clara McKoy (she/her). I’m the director of The Rubicon Online. At school, I’m involved in Community Action and Service Club and Senior Class Leadership Council. I love to chat about podcasts, music, and food. I can be reached at [email protected].

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