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Press Box

By Staff | Jan 4, 2017

Ed Parsons

Things to think about before playing high school sports:

There are many benefits to being involved in athletics in high school. The personal traits one develops as a high school athlete are: teamwork, perseverance, responsibility, physical endurance, commitment, time management, and personal and emotional health.

When a student decides to join an athletic team, a commitment is made to attend all practices and to give 100% effort. The student athlete learns to work well and in conjunction with others. Teammates rely upon and support one another to reach a common goal. A student athlete shows loyalty to teammates by being dependable and responsible, showing up for all practices and putting forth his/her best physical and mental effort.

The wellness benefits for the student athlete are that emotional and physical health are developed and maintained. Practices occur on a regular basis where drills are practiced and physical energy is used to prepare for maximum game performance. The athlete develops physical stamina to be able to be physically prepared for competition.

Emotional health is developed through athletics which helps fight off depression and reduce stress. When adrenaline kicks in, and the student athlete’s fight response kicks in, his/her performance is elevated. That has been evident in some recent contests on the local scene.

Another benefit of being a student athlete is that one is forced to maximize his/her use of time. Time management skills are put to the test because the student athlete not only is a full-time student, but now has an additional time commitment. Because of this additional commitment, in order to be both academically and athletically successful, self-discipline must be used to control one’s use of time.

In addition to the already great benefits listed above, when college admission counselors and college coaches see a high school student who has performed well both academically and athletically, they see a well-rounded student athlete who will be a welcome student in higher education.

Try your best as a student athlete to maintain a good relationship with your coaches and your mentors. Understanding that listening well to instructions can be a major part of your success as an athlete. One must know the plays and have the a desire to work with team mates to implement the game plan to be a winner.

Involvement in high school sports can be an experience you cherish for a lifetime.

The relationships you make, the people you meet, the goals you achieve, the ups and downs, the wins and losses are all part of a learning experience that you will carry with you as you enter your adult life. Enjoy them while you can and never let anyone or anything rob you of that joy. Not every athlete will be the star of the team but every athlete can contribute to success.

Often it’s the role players who have the best memories. Playing with great players or just being part of the team gives the feeling of belonging to something special and often propels you to greater heights as the years go by. I often think of some ex-athletes who didn’t get much playing time or didn’t make the stat sheets and later become motivated just by their experience and become great individuals who contribute immensely to society.

It’s very important as the new year begins to keep in mind that every child is not cut out to be an athlete. However, all are equally as important and all should be supported. whether it’s band, drama club, FFA, or any other school activity these are the ones that make up our schools. Stand behind them and stand behind our educators. I know some kids that spend hours just studying trying hard to be tops in their class and prepare for their next level of education. Lets all try to encourage greatness from our children, talk to them about the negative things in life. Let them know the effects of bad choices such as alcohol, drugs and smoking. Teach them to be mannerly and to have respect for authority and their elders. We have a responsibility to lead by example, it’s what makes or breaks our society, our children watch what we do and hear what we say so the example you set is usually the path they will follow. There are several good adult groups working in the area to help reach young people and to implement ways to combat substance abuse to make this a better place to live and raise children.

Our kids are very fortunate to live in an area where they all can belong to something, it’s up to us to keep it that way for them.

eparsons@tylerstarnews.com