Save High School Sports
For years, sports have been a part of American high schools. They have been a source of school pride and give people a connection to their school. They break up the otherwise mundane routine of going to class and doing schoolwork. In recent years there has been a huge push by researchers, educators, politicians, and parents to figures out why America’s schools are constantly falling behind other countries in crucial test subjects. One of the latest reasons to blame for the shortcomings of American students is the incorporation of sports in the American school system. Some are beginning to think that the focus of schools is no longer education and that sports are taking on a greater role within schools. It’s starting to become a topic of conversation to remove sports from schools altogether, but is this really the fix for American schools? Some people believe that students should just play club sports if they would still like to be involved in sports. Removing sports programs from schools is not the answer to fixing the problems in America's schools. Interscholastic sports programs allow students to become more well-rounded athletes, help them to perform better academically, and provide a sense of community to the students, parents, and others in the community.
When students play for their high school teams, it provides them with a greater chance to become a well- rounded athlete. In the last couple of years club sports have begun to gain mass popularity across the United States, especially in soccer. Vikki Ortiz Healy, Chicago Tribune reporter explains some of the reasons students and parents are starting to move away from high school sports and to club sport. “Students and parents, often motivated by college scholarship desires, say they are being forced to make tough decisions about whether to get involved in high school sports at all” (2). With the chance at a college scholarship becoming the main focus for some students who play sports, club sports seem to be the way to go. On the other hand Dan Gould, Michigan State professor, provides some example of why club sports may not be the best way to go. The biggest reason is the “One-sport wonder” student athletes who specialize in one sport their entire life. “Specialization leads to overuse injuries: pitch counts get too high, players use the same muscles and hurt them” (12). So when students play club sports and specialize they risk the chance of hurting themselves and losing out on scholarship opportunities. Gould continues his point by saying playing multiple sports, and gaining multiple skills help athletes to perform better. So the claim that students should play club because it’s better for developing their skills is not completely valid. Students who play high school sports are more likely to play more than one sport and potentially gain skills that an athlete playing club sports will not.
One of the biggest complaints about interscholastic sports is the...