Why You Should Consider Playing a High School Sport

By Shane Lavezzo

I’ve always been quiet when it comes to my personal life. Voicing my emotions is something I’ve never truly felt comfortable doing. Regardless of who I am talking to, a best friend or even a family member, I prefer to keep how I feel to myself. The only person who knows what is going on in my life is me.

As I was sitting in the back room with my basketball team, I initially felt nervous and slightly embarrassed when Coach asked us to sit in a circle and tell everyone why we want to play basketball and to give an example of a challenge we had to push through in our life. As my teammates began speaking, I realized how genuine and honest they were. These were kids I spend hours with every day. I slowly became more and more comfortable, and when it was my turn, it felt great to be able to let others know how I feel.

These past three years playing high school basketball have lead me to believe that, regardless of athletic ability or past experience, everyone should strongly consider playing a high school sport. The numerous benefits that participation in a sport can provide you with are infinite. Many of these benefits can stick with you for your life, and you may not even have realized them.

High School Sports Increase Your Social Experience

The average time spent in one week practicing and playing with my basketball team is over 12 hours. This means that every week I spend 12 hours with my teammates. Every hour together, we as a team, fight to achieve our goals, conquer our fears, and collaborate to become the best team possible. On the court every player is contributing to push the team higher. The sweat and work that each player puts in creates bonds that are hard to make anywhere else. Running suicide after suicide or doing drill after drill brings you closer and closer. Off the court we as a team we are constantly coming together to spend time simply talking about the ways we could improve. If one person needs help, they know they can find it from a teammate. Whether we are encouraging those who are struggling to try again or celebrating those who are succeeding, the time we spend together has created relationships that I value with my life.

High School Sports Create Memories For a Lifetime

As the ball rolled to Jack Duboff (a teammate of mine), my heart stopped. With a minute to go, we were down by three to Marin Catholic in front a packed crowd. Coming into the fourth quarter we had been down 15 and the game seemed lost. However, with time winding down Duboff found himself with a wide open three to cap off what was a miraculous comeback. As the ball sank through the net the crowd exploded. As I went crazy screaming with joy I knew I’d never forget that moment. All the hard work we had put in had paid off. When I look back on that moment I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I know that when I think back on high school memories like those are the ones I will want to think of.  Memories are the building blocks to your life. The number of times that I find myself referring to an old memory or looking back on my past has lead me to believe that creating good memories can create a good life.

High School Sports Build Self-Esteem

Self-esteem can be described as confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. In its most basic form, self-esteem is self-respect. Each person has a different way to develop their own self-esteem. While some may find it easier, others have a tough time finding confidence in what they do. For example, Junior Charlie Pillado, who hadn’t played an organized sport since early elementary school, joined the soccer team and noticed an immediate change in the way he saw himself. “Before [soccer] I rarely spent time exercising and felt super out of shape. Soccer helped me feel much better about myself. I felt healthier, stronger, and even smarter. You spend time improving yourself that you never realized you needed,” he said. When playing a sport many set goals for themselves. Achievement of these goals can increase your self-confidence. Setting new personal bests, winning difficult games, and competing can help a person realize their true potential. If you enjoy the person you are, many other aspects of your life will improve as well.

Reasons to play a high school sport are not limited to these few examples, but these should provide the average person with enough motivation to at least try out for that sport they’ve always thought was fun. For many high school is a tough period in your life, so I encourage you to find ways to improve your experience. You may not even have realized that playing a sport, and creating relationships with a team could do so much for you. At least give it some consideration.