Participating in sports enables skills for future


Samantha Freeman

The Sidekick staff writer Arman Merchant believes sports are ways for students to grow lifelong skills and friendships in a fun way. Merchant argues that sports are valuable extracurriculars and their importance is not overrated.

Arman Merchant, Staff Writer

After months of early morning practices on the turf, and endless hours spent conditioning in the gym, an athlete’s grueling season can all be defined in just a few words. However, sports are bigger than training; they are about the experience.

Growing up in any high school environment, notably one with a large student body, sports are very important. This applies to most schools, especially at Coppell High School.

With a wide variety of sports available for students at CHS, they have the chance to indulge in something that can help them grow as people. The experience a sport provides is more important than going out and winning.

With sports, students are able to develop many useful skills that are beneficial as they embark through adulthood. While many high school students get into sports for the sheer love of the game, there are significant benefits from these extracurricular activities.

One of the most important skills student athletes have the ability to develop is leadership. Being a part of a team and progressing through the year, older students keep younger team members accountable and focused – having the chance to not only develop themselves but others.

“When I first started playing soccer for the school team, the older players showed me the ropes,” Coppell senior forward Clara Centeno said. “Being a senior this year, I had to step in and take charge of my younger teammates. With all of the experience I had been handed down throughout the years, it was much easier to adjust.”

Playing on a team also creates long-term social relationships, those not commmonly in a classroom setting. Having a group of people to grow around is essential in the stressful high school scene. 

“My team is my second family,” Coppell senior guard Brandon Taylor said. “Some of the seniors on the team have been with me since the first time I started playing in middle school. Our bond helps us on the court, [as] being able to communicate is key when you are playing a team sport. I would not change anything with what we have.”

For many students and parents, sports can be something they may be interested in but worry about academic failure. With a set GPA standard for eligibility, student-athletes are more inclined to work harder in the classroom to those who do not care. 

Although sports can be an important part of a students high school experience, it is important for one to keep in mind that their future might not be in sports. A relatively small amount of student athletes ever continue playing at the college level, and even less even make it to the professional level. Therefore, being open minded to other fields is benifecial for succeess past a sports career.

According to Florida National University, “Studies have consistently demonstrated that physically active people are not only healthier but also perform better on tests of cerebral or intellectual ability.” 

This is why some athletes graduate from Ivy League and other bigger academic schools. Having the balance of graduating and competing grows character and enables them to be successful in both areas.

As time changes and humans become more unhealthy, sports have a high level of physical fitness attached. Athletes have the chance to develop a healthy lifestyle which can be very beneficial heading into college. 

“Before I started playing basketball, I never knew about how unhealthy my diet had been,” Taylor said. “You feel the effects when you do not practice a healthy lifestyle on the court. Practices and games are much harder, but with basketball, now I have focused on everything I do to my body.”

Above all, sports are a chance for students to represent the community that supports them. Beyond college plans and recruitment, it gives the ability to be part of the people around you. Having the honor of representing your school, regardless of the outcome of the game.

“Going out and wearing my jersey on the court is very big for me,” Taylor said. “I would not be here without so many people, and giving back to them with my game is important. Playing sports makes me who I am and I would never change that.”

Follow Arman (@arman_merch) and @SidekickSports on Twitter.