High school sports teams focus too much on winning
Over the last several decades, much has changed in the world of high school sports. Back when my kids were in sports, there was a fairly level playing field on entering middle or high school. As long as a student had basic skills, enthusiasm and dedication, there was a chance of making a team. Excelling in a sport was an ongoing learning process throughout an athlete’s high school career.
Now, in some school districts, money is a real advantage. Many have the added bonus of parents able to spend whatever time and money necessary for student athletes to quickly progress in their sport at a much earlier age, i.e., 10 or 11 years old. This is slowly becoming the norm, whether through costly travel teams, elite summer leagues or special summer camps at a cost of hundreds to thousands. Young people lacking these advantages frequently find it difficult, if not impossible, to overcome this type of head start. Even if they do make a team, they often play only minimally.
Then you have parents transferring their star athlete from their local school to one with a winning record to ensure their child will be noticed by college scouts. And so, school sports have changed, sometimes for good but other times I wonder.
For me, it was more fun when high school sports were about taking young people with raw talent and desire and then, over the next three or four years, working with them on the necessary skills to excel while teaching them teamwork and a love of the game. Now it appears many involved in school sports would rather bask in the glory of a winning team.
Marcia A. Brierley