Austin Leiby

To play sports or not to play sports?

Read four different takes on why or why not to play sports.


Jobs are an alternative to sports that provide structure

Sports are a great way to provide structure to students’ lives, open them up to an outside community, and help them build character. However, the opportunities for students to participate in after school activities are far from limited to sports, with some examples being theater, volunteering, or getting a job.

While many look to sports for fun and enjoyment, some parents are too quick to turn to them as the only source of fun for students, and students can feel pressured to play sports. In the fall of my sophomore year in high school I got the job and quickly saw the enjoyment in it. How could a part-time job during the school year help to benefit students in other ways than just earning money for themselves?

Concordia University published a piece called ‘Professional Students’, listing off some pros and cons of high schoolers working during the school year.

Starting off the list was the benefit of learning how to manage time wisely. With a part-time job, and possibly other extracurriculars, students will learn how to time manage multiple responsibilities during the school week, something to help them before entering college. However research has shown that students should work a maximum of 15-20 hours during the week or else a deterioration in grades may show.

Another benefit that a job may add is real world skills, like working in public with customers and being a part of a staff. Working can also provide students with a good entrance point into a field of interest.

It has been suggested by Concordia University to work with teachers and parents to create a schedule to aid with homework, studying, sleeping, and retaining a healthy lifestyle.

While sports are something fun for many students, it is not a fit for everyone. I quit sports to work instead, and have had plenty of enjoyment out of it. I’ve made some of my closest friends from it, and always have a pocket of cash as well. Do not feel limited in what you can do in your free time.

Sports teach life lessons and allow for a good time


Sports are a key part of the community here at SPA. Students engage in sports during the fall, winter, and spring seasons playing one or more of the 19 available sports throughout the year. These sports offer the benefits of staying active, enjoying time with friends, learning the basic characteristics of a good teammate, and having a lot of fun.  Students also have decided to partake in other activities around school such as the theater, working tech for plays, or even getting a job. This can benefit them by learning skills to pursue a career and the financial benefits of having a job.

I personally think that sports are a great thing for students especially our age. I play football for the Wolfpack in the fall and baseball during the spring. I have learned many lessons and learned how to properly play 2 of my favorite sports growing up while I have enjoyed time with friends. During my time at this school, I have learned valuable lessons about being humble, to be a good leader, and how to be a great teammate. When I am not playing a sport during the winter and summer, I spend my time focusing on my education and preparing for my next sport by doing proper workouts.

One thing that has driven students away from high school sports is the chance of injuries. The media has been spreading statistics that sports such as football and hockey are very dangerous and will affect you later on in life. A study done by the Mayo Clinic shows that playing high school football gives you the same chance of developing a neurological disease later in life as participating in glee club or the school marching band. Coaches and programs have been trying hard to teach players how to properly play the game and how to keep players safe.

I highly suggest that students should play at least one sport because it is a safe way to stay active, make new friends, learn life lessons, and have fun. While there are benefits to not playing sports and engaging in other activities, sports offer a wide variety of benefits that will help you later in life.

Sports are an essential part of world culture

Engaging in plays, jobs, tech support for various teams, and sports. Majority of the students in the community play sports during the fall, winter, and spring for the school, but some engage in summer activities outside of the school. The school offers many sports such as: soccer, football, swimming, tennis, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, cross country, track, basketball, trap shooting, gymnastics, dance, nordic and alpine skiing, softball, volleyball, fencing, and golf. Playing a sport offers benefits such as: being fit, spending time with friends, having fun, and meeting new people.

Play some sports. Sports are an essential part of world culture, in all countries across the world. Staying fit and being healthy are helpful if you ever get mugged, you may be able to overpower your opponent or out run them.  According to Bliss being healthy will directly impact grades, sports can increase concentration and standardized test scores  According to Punar sports can also help in the college application process because it shows that the students are well rounded. All in all sports are not that much of a time waster, and get help you get farther in life, so play them.

Sports come with academic benefits

With practices that are multiple hours many days of the week, and meets on school nights and the weekends, time is always tight for student athletes. Though purposely creating a hectic lifestyle may not appeal at first to all people, there are serious academic benefits from investing time and energy in a sport.

Being able to transition from the world of athletics to that of academics can be easy.  Athletes learn valuable skills from sports that they may apply to their academic lives, and visa versa. According to an article written by the University of Missouri’s health care division, “Sports require memorization, repetition and learning — skillsets that are directly relevant to classwork.”

Homework and other school commitments cause students to feel stressed. Finding the time to get all their homework done can plague their minds throughout the day. And, when students feel like they cannot get work done, many turn to procrastination. Although this strategy may work sometimes, a cycle of procrastination can easily turn into a habit. If student athletes try and put homework off until the last minute, they could become stressed because they keep cutting it too close. By fully committing to a sport, students learn to get work done whenever they can. As students invest so much of their otherwise free time to sports, they learn valuable skills regarding organization and schedule planning.

With time being very much a luxury to student athletes, organization and structure are key to staying afloat both mentally at competitions and in school. Because student athletes have a set amount of time dedicated to practice, they tend to come up with a plan for getting work done. By structuring time around one non-negotiable, like practice, students find it easier to map out their days. According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, “Sports force you to organize your time so that you can both go to practice and finish your homework. The key is finding a balance. If you can learn to organize your time then you can succeed in both.” That balance is driven by the hard work ethic that sports teaches, and the seamless transition from concepts like work ethic to academics.  

Though it might seem like self-punishment, or maybe just an unnecessary burden, sport are worth trying. Sports will not give students an instant grade change or a higher test score, but they will give them academic skills that will make a bigger difference in their lives than that one C- they got on the math test a week ago.

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