The Triumphs and Agony of High School Athletics

Hey Paul: I am in high school and played Little League baseball and rec soccer. I can probably make the varsity team but won’t be a starter. Should I play high school sports?

The sports participation question is a tough one. I thoroughly believe that every student should have some form of daily physical activity. Very few are going to do P90X in their basement so it becomes almost necessary to join a team to keep motivated.

As you know the competition level can be very high both within the team and against the local schools. That kind of pressure can help you rise to levels of performance you didn’t know you could reach. It could also tear you down and make you hate a game you once loved.

It sounds like you are actually in a position of advantage – you are not putting all your hopes on an athletic full-ride scholarship or winning every game. If you can enjoy the camaraderie of your teammates and can work towards improving your skills then I say go for it.

If you can’t find the right situation then create it. Talk to the AD or a teacher about starting an intramural league of co-ed wiffle-ball or pick-up basketball games. You’ll get the joy of sports without barking coaches and every day practice.