I used to think that high school sports were useless since they took away so much time from my academics. As a part of the Diamond Bar High School tennis team, I have come to learn how meaningful high school sports are. It’s more than just hours of practice and going to games; it’s about learning to juggle academics while demonstrating sportsmanship, and meeting outside expectations. It’s about becoming a more well rounded person than I would’ve ever become without the experiences I’ve gained while being a part of my sports team.
Students of the latest generation are becoming more involved in extracurricular activities in hopes of achieving the full high school experience. Most students typically face the challenge of having too much to do with too little time, but student athletes are able to gain the benefits of time management skills throughout their athletic career. Without a doubt, practices and games take up a lot of time, leaving less for school work. Athletes learn to prioritize what’s important through the use of time management. With these skills, they are able to set realistic goals for themselves to reach within their near and far future. Likewise, these skills are extremely transferable in school and in the real world. I have personally learned to manage all of my AP classes and extracurriculars all while being on the tennis team. Although it was definitely not easy, I have learned to prioritize what’s important to me in order to continue to excel at school.
Many high school students reluctantly participate in P.E. since it is required by the state, but many often end up playing for the full four years. In an interview conducted via FaceTime, DBHS tennis team member Sriya Ponnaganti says, “This team is like my second family and tennis has helped me grow as a person as it has given me a purpose to stay active.” When playing a sport, athletes aren’t forced to participate in athletic activities for the grade; instead, they push themselves to stay active and practice to grow as a player. Participation in sports leads to improved health, not only physically, but also mentally. Student athletes manifest stronger relationships and set clear goals as they have better persistence and sense of responsibility. With these goals in mind and a strong support system, youth athletes are able to accomplish what’s needed without any hindrance. Lastly, sports are often a resort for stress relief. Student athletes are still students at the end of the day who unfortunately receive loads of stress from school and home life. High school sports are often many students’ escape route to relieving themselves of stress in a positive, healthy way.