Renee Sang

Many students are involved with club sports outside of school.

Taylor Harris, Reporter

Students participate in every variety of sports. From basketball to lacrosse, youths compete in club athletic activities. While club sports offer an array of advantages, they also present disadvantages. Pupils have diverse reasons for being involved in athletics. Those with a passion and ability usually excel in competitive games of their choice. Anyone who decides to pursue an organized physical activity should possess specific qualities which include commitment, time restraints and coachability.

Student athletes who participate in team club sports develop social skills from playing on the team. Communication represents a key role in team sports because athletes must effectively and quickly convey directions and ideas to ensure a greater opportunity for success. Players also form close bonds with team members and coaches. In many cases, they’re considered a second family.This can happen in high school teams, but not as intensely as it happens in club sports.

Junior Brittany Renton states, “Club has made me a lot better with social skills. I’m no longer nervous going to meet new people and can jump right in and be talkative with the other players. It makes relationships stronger because you spend almost every day with them throughout summer.”

Student athletes who excel in both their club and high school teams are more likely to earn the attention of college scouts while playing with their club team. With this recognition and appropriate academic scores, athletes can reap the rewards of being selected to receive assistance to attend college.

Freshman Kaitlyn Lackey, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) White Team goalkeeper, comments, “I feel college scouts have paid more attention to me while I’ve played for my club team. When we did a tournament up in Tallahassee, I had college scouts from FSU come up to me after the game and they told me that I’m a good keeper and that they were going to be around.”

For whichever reason pupils choose to play club sports, positive lifestyles flourish. Organized physical activity leads to a healthy life experience. Eating a proper diet assists the athlete to fully develop his/her skills and maintain the stamina necessary to participate in the sport. The activity becomes the foundation for time management and responsibility. Declining harmful habits and actions offers another favorable strength created via club sports.These benefits provide the athlete with favorable assets they can utilize in the future.  For some, participation can lead to a career which the participant enjoys and performs at the highest level.

Sophomore Nick Ramos, a player for Amateur Athletic Union Basketball (AAU), states, “I think club has affected my lifestyle in a healthy way because there’s at least three games every weekend as opposed to only one game. I feel like it will leave me great habits to take away, such as making me more serious about basketball. In AAU, when playing good teams, every player was the best player. On the high school teams, they only have one good player.”

While playing club sports displays advantages, there are also disadvantages. These drawbacks include the high cost of playing, limited free time, and demand for excellence. Parents or guardians must pay for transportation, hotels, tournament fees, equipment, jerseys and other incidentals. Students must enhance time management skills due to practices, games, school work and other activities. Athletes are also obliged to make the team a top priority and to consistently perform at their highest and most skillful level; this translates to little free time.

The pros for club sports outweigh the cons. Seeing the advantages of building a firm foundation for the future, having a second family, being healthy, while maintaining discipline and communicating appropriately present valid evidence. The expense, limited leisure, and the pressure for peak performance appear as minor considerations.