Sports can be a great way for high school kids to develop relationships, keep in shape, and pick up useful collaboration skills. In America, there are 30 million student athletes. However, high school athletics aren’t always enjoyable. Some student athletes may start to break under the pressure of scholarship expectations, parental demands, and an intensely competitive environment.
How much weight should be placed on successful basket-throwing, home runs, and quick running?
High school sports have changed significantly over the years, becoming high stakes contests with a lot riding on the results. Even though it may begin in little league with overeager dads and coaches jokingly fueling kids’ ambitions of playing in the major league, it doesn’t always come to that. Student athletes don’t want to disappoint their families, friends, school, town, or, in the case of high profile sports day for adults.
These demands come at a time when the majority of high school students’ confidence and self-image are in doubt. The potential that their parents perceive in them is something that kids and teenagers strive to achieve. They also want to lessen the cost of attending college. Both of those objectives would be achieved by receiving an athletic scholarship.
Only one out of every fifty high school athletes receives athletic scholarships, according to The Sports Scholarship Handbook. It is a lot for a teenager to face the strain to be that person in addition to the pressures from schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and social lives. Children and adults alike can be inspired to greatness by the desire to win and to excel, but this winner-take-all mentality can also lead to inflated expectations. This way of thinking can take the pleasure out of sports. Shouldn’t we use high school athletics to promote well-rounded young individuals rather than inventing these pressure-filled pastimes?
Nowadays, high school athletes must dedicate themselves to one sport and compete on club teams the entire year in order to succeed with sports day for adults.
Due to the frequent repetitive movements involved in playing one sport all year long, athletes run the risk of injuring their joints, straining their muscles, or developing stress fractures. Coaches still caution students against participating in several sports because doing so puts their status on the team and their dreams of attending college at risk.
The worrying rise in these repetitive stress injuries is shown by a recent study. The American Sports Medicine Institute, Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center, in Birmingham, Alabama, conducted the study, which counted the number of “Tommy John” operations—surgeries performed on pitchers to repair torn elbow ligaments.
- Lyle Cain, MD, a coauthor and research director, stated that before 1997, just 12 of 97 patients (12%) who were 18 years old or younger had Tommy John surgery.
A third of the surgical group, or 62 out of the 188 surgeries performed in 2005, were on athletes from high schools, according to Cain. “This surgery was successful, and that’s good, in fact. However, a worrying pattern of younger children requiring the procedure is concerning.
Ironically, participating in different sports can help individuals maintain their physical fitness, strengthen various muscle groups, and prevent burnout in their primary sport.
In his piece titled “Age of Specialization: One Sport Vs. Multiple Sports” for The Guilford Orthopedic and Sports Medical Center, Detavius Mason expresses this sentiment.
Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, Lebron James, Tom Brady, and Alex Rodriguez were mentioned by Mason. “A few things spring to mind when their names are mentioned: excellence, transcendent talent, and victory; but, the idea of them specializing in one sport shouldn’t. Lebron played zorb football, Kobe and Federer played soccer, Brady played baseball, and A-Rod played basketball, zorb football, and soccer.
He concludes by offering guidance to parents and coaches: “So, let your youngster play multiple sports… In addition, participating in several sports reduces physical stress, improves general athleticism, enhances social engagement and friend-making, and relieves pressure to perform perfectly.
In severe cases, certain sports might be harmful to a player’s overall health. Sports can lead to some risky food and activity habits, whether kids are attempting to bulk up for zorb football, stay trim for dance, or make weight for wrestling.
High school athletics may foster a clique mindset that excludes people who don’t fit in.
It’s a fact that not all children are hampered athletes. Does that imply that they don’t adore the sport and aspire to join the team? Do they have to forgo the social and health benefits of organized sports as a result? There aren’t many well-organized recreational activities, even though some kids continue to participate as managers or supporters.
Additionally, these exclusions go beyond normal skill level. Poor kids are at a marked disadvantage since they cannot pay the membership fees and travel costs that club teams demand, which is an unofficial requirement for many high school teams. Coaches are more likely to choose club players they have watched play for years during tryouts over unproven youngsters who have only honed their skills on the practice field.