Candace is a college student from California. She enjoys sunny days, swimming, writing and reading young adult novels. She is majoring in English with a minor in Theater.
High school is an exciting time for teens. They have opportunities to make new friends, join clubs and participate in sport teams. Sometimes parents wonder whether they should let their teen be on a sport team. They worry that their teen will have a bad experience because of the negative portrayals of sport teams they sometimes see on the media. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. After participating in my high school swim team for three years, I think high school sports do have some benefits. Here are some reasons why parents should consider letting their teen join a sport team in high school:
- To get health benefits. When I was on swim team, I noticed I was able to fall asleep faster at night. I didn’t toss and turn or lie awake at night trying to make myself fall asleep. I also felt healthier and more energized throughout the day. During meet days I drank a lot of water so I could stay hydrated. I also tried to not stay out late with friends because I wanted to be able to perform well the next day without being tired.
- To learn to manage their time. When I wasn’t playing sports I wasted my time during the day surfing the Internet or watching TV. When I was on swim team, I was too busy to waste time so I always tried to finish my assignments on or before they day they were due.
- To get an extracurricular for college. During high school, I didn’t have a job. When I was applying to colleges my senior year I added to my college resume that I had been on a sport team for three years. This showed the colleges that I was applying to that even though I didn’t have a job, I was a dedicated and hard worker.
- To feel connected to their school. Before I joined swim team I felt like my whole life during the school year consisted of studying, doing homework, eating and sleeping. Swim team gave me time to socialize with friends and experience team spirit. If my school won a meet I felt proud of my teammates’ hard work.
- To learn the value of teamwork. Even though swim team is mainly an individual sport, my teammates and I still had to work together during relays. During relays we gave each other tips on how to improve our swimming strokes.
Although sport teams do have some drawbacks, such as long hours of practice, less time to do homework and the possibility of getting injured, I do believe the benefits outweigh the costs. Therefore, if a parent is considering letting their teen join a sport team, they have nothing to lose. If their teen joins and doesn’t like the sport team, they can always quit. If they do enjoy the team, they should be ready for the reward of possibly making lifelong friends, getting in shape and overcoming challenges.
Photo credit: State Library Queensland from Flickr