High school is one of the most memorable times for everyone. It is a time to make life long friendships, earn good grades, participate in activities and prepare for the future. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts in some communities, many schools are choosing to sacrifice high school sports in order to appropriate that money towards academics. At first glance, this seems like a feasible solution, since academics should have priority. But the elimination of sports in public high schools would negatively impact many communities, and lessen every student’s high school experience.
Eliminating high school sports would no only impact student life, it would also affect the local economy. Sports bring money into schools and the community. During the different sports seasons, fundraising and booster clubs are prevalent. These organizations are non profit and all proceeds go to the schools. Doing away with sports would mean the loss of jobs for many including, staff, builders, contractors, uniform and equipment makers, and concession stand providers.
High school sports are known for attracting media attention, sometimes even at national level. Being in the local paper or playing on the local cable TV stations is very common. The attention that is drawn from high school sports not only attracts visits from graduates, but also attracts tourists to the community. Friday Night Lights and We are Marshall are movies that are based on true stories of high school football. The communities where these stories are based have without a doubt profited in more ways than one, due to the attention they have received from this sport.
Sports in high school are also the perfect way to keep young adults away from drugs and other dangerous behaviors. Coaches encourage players to be well behaved. Some schools even have limits on GPA’s for athletes. If an athlete’s grades fall below a certain point, they are not allowed to play, which provides them with accountability. Students who love sports will do anything to play, including increase their studying. They will also be less likely to try drugs or break the law in other manners, which would hinder their eligibility to participate. “Personally, I think it’s critical,” said Mike Crilly, superintendent of the Jefferson Union High School District, when referring to high school sports (Simon). “It helps to build the whole student, and it’s important for the participant as well as the spectator.”
The truth is high school sports are more than just fun. They are great tools to help students learn about life. They are a valuable tool in teaching ethics. Ethics can be described as the continuous effort of studying our own moral beliefs and our moral conduct, and striving to ensure that we, and the institutions we represent, live up to standards that are reasonable and solidly-based. Team sports are a great way to gain hands on experience regarding ethics and other valuable traits. Teamwork, cooperation and leadership are several things students can learn from school sports. Students can apply what they learn in their everyday lives. When athletes build confidence on the field, they can use that confidence in the real world. Teens who participate in sports will be better able to work with others in all aspects of life.
Sports create a positive after school activity that detours teens from using this free time to become involved in gangs or other mischievous activities. Teenager’s negative perception of school is replaced with increased school pride. This increase interest in school generally results in increased enjoyment in academics, resulting in better overall test scores and grades. High school sports enable the entire school to come together, whether playing, or observing, to cheer for their school. It boosts school morale and increases the bonding between parents and their teens when parents help with skills and come to games to cheer their teen on.
Another positive aspect of school sports is that it encourages good health habits which could benefit the student for an eternity. “It’s part of the good health of the community and the student,” said Tom Mohr, superintendent of the San Mateo Union High School District (Simon). Participating in high school sports teaches students the importance of eating healthy in order to increase performance. Sports are important for motor skill development, maintaining a healthy exercise program and providing an outlet for releasing anger when the academic stressors become overwhelming. When youths participate in sports they release endorphin’s which help decrease depression and increase energy.
Without a doubt, sports teams can teach powerful lessons about working together for the common good. Rarely is a run scored or game won without the combined efforts of all players, those on the field, as well as those who cheer a team on from the sidelines and bleachers. The importance of teamwork in the real world is that it allows us to accomplish more than we could by ourselves. It allows us to move mountains. If one doubts the importance of teamwork in corporate America, just think about where Bill Gates would be today without his team and the work they did.
High school sports are beneficial in teaching self-discipline, the ability to do what is necessary without needing to be urged by somebody else. Discipline will help you succeed at work, finish personal projects and better improve your physical and mental abilities. It is not easy to develop discipline, even as adults. Teens need to develop discipline early in their lives to prepare them for everything that lies ahead. There are several ways to develop this character trait, becoming part of a sports team is one of them. These activities require discipline, and give students a chance to see positive results from their dedication and practice.
When adults look back on their time in school many do not remember their teachers, classes or grades but they do remember the high school sports they participated in or observed. They often look back on these memories fondly and look forward to their children having similar experiences. As discussed, there are many benefits to high school sports which not only positively effect student life, they also contribute to a healthy community. It empowers youths and redirects them from gang involvements and deviant behavior. These voluntary programs motivate students to stay in school, earn better grades, and prepare them in cooperative skills greatly called on by employers today. There is no doubt the elimination of high school sports would be detrimental to youths and their communities.
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