There is No “I” in Team

The Importance of Youth Sports


Look at that smile that sports bring to athletes!


Who didn’t play soccer growing up? I know for a fact I did (even though it lasted about two weeks). Regardless of what pick-up sport you played growing up, are you still playing that sport? Or was it a short lived memory of your childhood?

“I’ve played sports ever since I was five years old,” said senior track and soccer player Nick Kristoff.

Growing up, not only did I have an extremely brief soccer career, I also played basketball and figure skated during my youth.

But why would I participate in these sports and not even play anything in high school? Good question. I suppose for character development.

Along with myself, many students have memories of playing multiple sports in their youth. But unlike me, handfuls of students stuck with their athletic careers. Our school is full of numerous talented athletes, but this often struck from playing sports growing up.

“They’ve always given me something to do and always gave me new people to meet,” said senior bocce and softball player Sophie Brandon.

Not only does participating in athletics allow kids to constantly have something to do, but it also encourages healthier lifestyles as they grow older. While playing sports at a young age, it allows for kids to become interested in physical activity, possibly furthering their interest to stay in shape.

“I would probably be really out of shape if it wasn’t for sports,” said Kristoff.

Participating in sports is not only physically healthy, but can also be mentally healthy in some cases. Physical activity increases the production of dopamine and other neurochemicals in the brain, often encouraging the decrease of anxiety and depression found in many teenagers nowadays.

“For many, it can be a release from their daily lives and a way to let go of emotions you can’t let go of in a home or school setting,” said Brandon.

Besides the health benefactors of playing sports, there is a major importance on the social aspect of it. You always hear the saying, “there is no ‘I’ in team,” but what does that mean to a young group of kids?

Sports are how kids learn to work together, side by side. When you start that mentality in a child, they learn that they must contribute their efforts for the whole team to cooperate. Along with that, children learn the importance of leadership skills, dedication, and problem solving skills. This allows them to realize that you play as a team to win, and sometimes even to lose.

“Sports are great for bonding with others and self-improvement,” said Kristoff.

From major leagues, to college, to high school sports, they become a community that you grow a part of.

“Sports have such an impact because it’s like a culture,” said freshman hockey player Evan Moody. “Depending on the sport you follow, it’s almost as if you become a part of it.”

People thrive off of the idea of sports, no matter the ability of the game being played. Seriously though, I have seen some parents act like they are watching the pros even though it’s just their kid playing in a basketball league at the local church.

Even though some may think there isn’t a need for every child to be put into athletics at a young age, this may give someone a chance to find something they truly enjoy. And sometimes, kids don’t join sports until they are much older, such as middle or high school, and that’s okay. But with doing so, sports become an outlet for people and sometimes often help in the long run.

“Sports really have an effect on your behavior as an adult and they build lots of character,” said Moody.

Some may think there is no need to be devoted to sports as much as some because what does it get you in the long run? If there is no chance of going pro, why waste your time?

With doing so, you make friends, memories, and connections in ways you would never believe. So what if you never make it to the major leagues? The teams you join become families to you, and that will always feel more valuable.