Is dedication to sports really worth the costs?

Nathan Christopher, Senior Writer

The life of a high school athlete involves relentless practices consuming time, lack of valuable sleep and free time, no time for homework, maybe even private lessons and more. Even though these factors can make high school sports appear detrimental, many underlying valuable lessons are also learned by being involved in athletics.
Some may argue that participation and devotion to a sport in high school takes away from free time and prevents the athlete from achieving his or her full potential in school. Some may also think it’s not worth the amount of dedication when the athlete doesn’t continue the sport into college. Yes, a select few will advance into collegiate sports, but the likelihood of that happening for most students is very slim.
So why would the commitment, time, and dedication be worth it?
Athletics not only teach young athletes confidence, teamwork, and discipline, but also create family memories to last a lifetime, and help establish an active lifestyle through adulthood.
There is nothing better than seeing the stands packed for a Friday night football game. Football clearly can bring entire communities together under one common goal—to watch our team win. It’s not just high school students that come out, but siblings, parents, and grandparents; entire families even come out to watch the games. This love for the game couldn’t be created without the dedicated athletes that work hard each day for the team. Yes, the starters are important, but it’s the dedicated second team players that keep that team practicing and playing successfully.
Furthermore, soccer, basketball, baseball and other sports foster the growth of important teamwork skills that will be essential for upcoming job opportunities and a successful future for young competitors.
Striving for a league championship, tournament trophy, or anything of the sort in any sport demonstrates to young athletes and children the importance of hard work, determination, power of mind, and strength of character. This builds individuals into competent young adults that will be ready to face the challenges of high school and beyond. Without sports these valuable lessons wouldn’t be learned, and I don’t believe our students would have the outstanding character that shines through every day on and off the field.