Column: Advantages of playing three sports over one

Maya Couch

Teachers, principals, and counselors are always encouraging students to be a part of some activity. For most, this tends to be sports. While there are plenty of other activities, sports are the most recognizable activities one can do. Many times, the student will either play all three sports available to them or just one. That got me thinking: should students try to be apart of all three sports or get really good at one? Honestly, I think students should be apart of all three.

I am a student who does all three sports, and yes, I love all three of them. But not every student who does three sports loves all three. Most cases show that students just play sports to have something to do after school. There have also been many times where I see one of my friends sigh about an upcoming season. It makes me wonder why they even participate in that sport. On the other hand, halfway through the season, their minds change, as if they really liked that sport all along. But what’s so good about going out for three sports when I could play one?

To quickly point out, many students play one sport not only because they like it, but because they need to become good at it. In big schools, it is challenging for students to make Varsity, or even just make the team. In David City, however, we don’t have much competition. Everyone makes the team if you come and try out. So when looking back at other schools, it is understandable for students to just be apart of one.

At David City High School, I feel like if a student was to be apart of one sport, they would have a type of tunnel vision for that sport. For example, if I was to only play basketball, I could focus my extra time on it so I could be the best player. If I was to be a part of all three, I wouldn’t have the extra time to work on my favorite sport. Another good reason to get really good at one sport is the passion for it. Most of the time in middle school, students try everything to see what they’ll like. But the sports they stick with are the ones they have a passion for. If I was to only play basketball, I’d have a passion for it. I would want to be the best at it and work hard to achieve my goals. I would be able to be a part of a league during the fall or spring and play the sport in the winter. In the summer, I would put all my extra time into summer camps geared toward basketball skills.

Here’s why I like doing three sports: you always have something to do. I know I mentioned earlier that some students just join sports to have something to be a part of, but if you’re like me, you actually enjoy playing all three sports. I play volleyball, basketball, and track. So season after season, I have something new to play, to keep my mind on. I also find that participating in all three sports helps me focus. Now I understand this isn’t the case for everyone, but as policy in David City, you can’t be included in a sport if you’re failing in two classes. So I find this knowledge as inspiration to keep my grades up. And one of the biggest pros of participating in three sports is being able to have new friendships with each team.

However, being involved in three sports can be stressful. Season after season, students have to get ready for the next event without breaks. This can be proven hectic when also participating in One-Act or Speech while also playing sports. It’s hard to recover and get a break, being so that the time between seasons is, at maximum, a week. It’s also hard to try to come to the next sport if the student was injured in the previous season. For example, let’s say someone developed shin splints through the basketball season and is now a sprinter and jumper in track. Their injury from the basketball season carried over and is now affecting them in a negative way. From personal experience, it’s not fun to sit out and watch.

Don’t get me wrong, only contributing to one sport has some downsides too, with the first being motivation. I feel that every once in a while I wouldn’t have the motivation to do my favorite sport, then every once in a while became once every week, and so on. I feel like it’s easier to just always having something to do to keep yourself preoccupied. Second, the seasons aren’t very long. In high school, the average season length is about four months. That may seem long, but playing time is only three months, and then once you take out all the breaks that carried through the season, the sport only really happens for two months. Then once you’re done with that season, you have to wait at least eight months for it to come back again. To me that feels like such a long wait for just one sport.

It may be hard to decide whether to play three sports or to only be a part of one. My best suggestion is to choose what’s best for your lifestyle. If you are active and always looking for something to do, I say join more than just one sport. But if your life is already kind of busy, only go out for one or two. It doesn’t matter if you play one or three, at least you as a student are going out there and trying to be a part of something. High school is only a very short part of our lives, so whether it be playing all three sports, or just playing one, be a part of that team experience. One or three, what will it be? I say, just play.