High School Sports – Why They Matter
By Wei Wang
In America, sports are an important part of high school life, and there are many ways in which high school sports can benefit students. For example, by playing one or even multiple sports in high school, students will be able to acquire a good amount of exercise and improve their health. Especially for many Chinese students in America, the majority of their time will be devoted to academic and school work; therefore, high school sports will provide them with the perfect opportunity to get some exercise, stay in shape, and be healthy.
Furthermore, through participation in sports, students may develop important social skills since most high school sports are team based sports. Students will often meet new people who are also members of the team, and most of them will forge close friendships with each other because they are going to spend a lot of time practicing and competing together.
Students who participate in sports can also develop and improve their time management skills. Student athletes may spend hours each day practicing and competing in games, which will leaves them with much less time for school work and other extracurricular activities. As a result, in order to balance between sports, studies, and other activities, students must learn time management skills and use their time wisely.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, sport is also a crucial part of a student’s extracurricular involvement, which plays an important role in college admissions. Student athletes have the opportunity to show and develop important character traits, such as persistence, motivation, and creativity. These traits are heavily valued by colleges. Therefore, students who participate in sports are more likely to receive admissions from colleges than those students who do not participate in sports if they have approximately the same academic performance.
There are plenty of benefits to becoming a student athlete, and many of them will last for one’s entire lifetime. Therefore, if possible, it is recommended that a student should try out some high school sports. There is a wide variety of sports available at most schools, such as tennis, soccer, football, and baseball. Such variety will provide students with more opportunities and allow them to test their true interests.
Personal Experience - Tennis
I have been a member of my high school’s tennis team since my sophomore year. My first year on the team was somewhat rough. I had no previous experience with tennis. If there was a tryout, it would be highly unlikely for me to join the team. Even then, I needed additional practice to improve my skills and catch up with other teammates. In the beginning, our tennis coach divided the team into two groups: new tennis players and experienced players. The group of experienced players was trained by the coach while the other group was trained separately by the best player of the team. Obviously, I was one of the new players. I would need to learn the basic tennis skills, techniques, and game rules, such as scoring, before I could start practicing with the experienced players.
Practices could be exhausting and difficult, but there were other challenges that I encountered. For example, finding a balance between athletics and academics was not an easy task. During the season, I would spend at least 2 hours for practice every non-game day. It often conflicted with my school work, especially near the exam time. In order to maintain my grades, it was necessary to spend my time meticulously. Consequently, I improved my time management skills through participation in tennis.
Although the beginning was slightly rough, playing tennis was still something I enjoyed. Also, with many new members joining the team each year, I was able to meet new people, develop friendships, and improve my communication skills. My involvement in tennis was memorable, and it was undoubtedly a highlight of my high school life.