With any sport there is a possibility of injury. That is just the inherent risk you have to take to compete. Some sports have smaller risks than others, but they are risks nonetheless.
This past weekend we were at an ultimate frisbee state tournament in the semifinals. Two points away from competing against Denver East in the finals. Giggles, one of our handlers Through up a huck to Thomas and he had to layout to grab it for a score in the endzone. Our sideline grew loud from the insane grab that was just made before them. We were now one point away from the finals. As the sideline started to quiet down they noticed Thomas was still on the ground. As the coaches rushed over to him it was clear that he hit his head on the way down. The trainer told us he wasn’t clear to play due to signs of a concussion. We had to play in the finals without our best player. Our team had to step up to the challange and try to replace an irreplaceable player.
Injuries can happen anywhere at anytime. Even in a “non-contact” sport like ultimate. Playing a physical sport like football is a non-lifetime sport where there is a higher possibility of getting injured that could impact your health and well being for the worse. Is that worth the risk? What can you gain from playing a non-lifetime sport that you can’t get from playing a lifetime sport?
I spoke with a coach who has been a coach for many years, and that has coached many of sports teams including football, volleyball, track and field as well as others. I asked him if he thinks football is a lifetime sport. “No. I do not believe football is a lifelong sport but I do believe it will teach you lifelong life lessons. As for the other sports (Basketball, Track, V-ball) They can be a lifelong sport if you have a passion to play them. I guess the same could be said of Football. It breeds a healthy lifestyle, confidence and positive self esteem.”
Health and well being is important for teens who play sports. The healthy lifestyle and confidence are good traits to learn at an early age for someone being introduced to the sports scene. Especially those of which who play a physical sport starting at a young age. This letting them Be more prone to injury due to the lack of muscle. “The athletes train to prevent injury by doing dynamic warm ups/cool downs and muscular strength and endurance training.” Even though this helps prevent injury it doesn’t stop it from happening. This goes back to Thomas getting his concussion. He warmed up and he has a healthy lifestyle but he took a tumble and was injured at the fault of no one in particular. Before Thomas started to play ultimate he played football and later stopped due to the violence of the sport. He didn’t stop because he thought that he would get hurt due to the sport; just because it felt violent.
There are lifetime sports that you can play for a longtime and you’ll have a higher chance of being fine and there are other sports that you can play but due to the physical nature and style of play of the sport, you’ll have a higher chance of ending the playing career at an earlier age. Is it worth the risk to play a non-lifetime sport and have higher chance of injury which would end the sports career earlier than expected? Or would it be more beneficial for teens to start with the lifetime sport and when they have matured in a physical way and when they have built up the muscle? Is it then when they could start playing a non lifetime sport having a lower percent of injury due to the muscle build up? Both the player athletes and the coaches agree that with any sport there is a chance of injury. That is just the inherent risk that everyone takes. It is up to the athlete and the athlete’s family to determine what they play, when, during the teenage years when the teens are just entering the sports scene to compete.
I remember my first practice at C.A.T.S, the gym smelled of sweat and you could hear everyone bustling around working hard in the gym. Walking into an unknown setting with people I have never encountered is quite intimidating. I was the new girl on the team and the only thing going through my mind was I hoped I would fit in. The girls made me feel welcomed on the team after just a few practices and then realized I would grow to love this team. My teammates were more than just gymnasts I practiced with, they grew to be like sisters to me.
Gymnastics has taught me how to develop into a more cultivated person. Developing the life skills such as consistency, determination, dedication, balance throughout our life. I asked Carmen, who is one of my old teammates, how she thinks gymnastics has made her a more flexible person. She giggled to herself and said, “I am still not very flexible physically, but I have become more flexible in the way I find balance in my schedule.” Learning how to find balance in your life is very important, gymnastics has taught me how to prioritize in more efficient ways. If you know how to time manage yourself in an efficient way, it will make things a lot easier for you. Especially in high school learning how to make the most of everything is a valuable lesson.
Although gymnastics as times can be an individual sport, you learn great teamwork skills. Gymnasts often have a group of gymnasts that they train with and compete with to make up a team. “As professionals working in student-athlete development, it is our duty to help our student-athletes gain the knowledge and skills to prepare for life after sport. In the area of identity and life transitions, this is one of the most difficult and time-sensitive topics. There is a fine balance to helping student-athletes understand the importance of focusing on their current situation while also preparing them for the next stage. I believe that one of the most important steps in helping student-athletes successfully navigate this transition starts with establishing a strong baseline relationship with them. Programs and resources are important, but in my experience, they are most effective when delivered with what I like to call a human touch.” This is an excerpt from the Sport Science Institute’s guide to understanding and supporting student-athlete mental wellness by Penny Semaia. Navigating our way through adulthood is very complex and confusing at times. Gymnastics is a key sport that helps kids transition into adulthood with valuable skills they gained from the sport.
There was five minutes left in triple overtime in the state championship. My teammate Leo has a rebound from our defense men’s shot and puts it in. A barrage of sticks, gloves, and helmets go up in the air. I was the happiest I have ever been as we were the 2010 Squirt B State Champions. Hockey is a sport that was created in Canada and it has been around for quite some time. So what makes it have such a large influence across the globe. It’s not a cheap sport to play such as soccer where you only need cleats, a ball, and some shin guards. In a sense that way it can a little bit of a financial commitment. It also requires a sheet of ice to be played on or if you’re playing pond hockey all you really need is skates a stick maybe helmet and gloves. According to the IIHF there is 1.64 million kids across the globe playing organized hockey as of 2013 and has grown a tremendous amount since. Now how does this sport impact the world so much.
From personal experiences with hockey which I have had a lot play the game since I was seven (i’m seventeen now) there is a ton passion for the game by everyone you’re surrounded by. One of which was my brother which I asked him a question on this and this is what he said. “I believe that no matter what level you play or not it is always fun no matter who you are surrounded by.” On top of the the hockey community is fantastic and all of the parents are so supportive of their kids, some of which played in their youth as well. On my team that i’m currently on we are friends inside the rink and outside and we always have eachothers backs. When you’re at the rink for two and a half hours everyday from August to February the environment in the locker room becomes a brotherhood. This a huge part of the game to me and to others also and it makes the game so much more enjoyable. The coaches are a huge part of it aswell they can be life mentors and they have taught me so much on how to work hard and what i’ll benefit from it.
Social aspects of this sport has helped me grow as an adult what I mean by this is that i’ve learned to be responsible, to make myself accountable, and to fully commit myself to something. Growing up I was super shy and my best friend to this day I met through hockey and when I was young I was really only vocal to my teammates those where the kids I felt comfortable talking to. My brother was more quite socially then I was when i asked him this question he said “A lot of the kids at school who played hockey became some of my closer friends even though we were not on the same team, we just loved hockey.” Later in life probably the end of freshman year this mostly transferred over to school. Because of this I was able to make more friends some of which I wouldn’t have today if it wasn’t for hockey. I want hockey as much of an impact on others as it did and does on mine.
In the United States the movement for Children to exercise more and be outside more has never been bigger before. Video Games and things of that nature has grown and allowed the amount of children to stay in doors and not physically go outside and interact with each other. The NFL has a huge program called “Play 60” that they promote at every game and sometimes you’ll see it on commercials or if you’re at the game you will see it all over the stadium. The main idea of this program is to have kids play and exercise outside for only 60 minutes every day. I think that the NHL should have a similar like program or any major professional sport should have something like the NFL has for kids.