Sports provide life skills, community for high school athletes

At five a.m. when my alarm wakes me and I stumble around getting ready for open gym, I often wonder how sports has affected my life in such a way that I am ready before the sun comes up to head to basketball.

In talking with Homer High student athletes, we all agree that sports have had a positive influence in our lives, provided us with a great group of peers, a chance to practice time management and perseverance, along with developing a passion and work ethic for our preferred sport.

Personally, I don’t know where I would be without the support from my teammates. They are always there to lift my spirits and support me. I realize that by working together with my team I am learning how to work with others of similar or different personalities. Lauren Kuhns, a senior at Homer High school and a successful swimmer, said, “The people I have met along the way in my sport are my family and I couldn’t do it without them.” Haley Knott, a three sport athlete and senior agrees. She says, “My team is always my second family and there to get me through and hardship or rough time.”

There are so many opportunities available to high school students from academics to clubs to social events and sports. Finding time for all that requires a lot of perseverance and good time management skills. By playing sports I have learned how to manage my time so that I am able to complete my school work and enjoy my sports. When I asked Henry Russell, a sophomore basketball and soccer player at Homer High, how sports has influenced his life he said, “I’ve definitely learned that you need to be committed to excel at something. This applies to life too, as if you put the time in it will sure pay off.”

My love for sports has always shown through, whether I’m on the court or the field. I may not be the best player out there, but when I put my mind to something and work for it, my work ethic and passion will get me further than my skill. “Although it stresses me out at times, sports have taught me what true passion is. They’ve made me realize that if you have a passion in life you will do anything you can to succeed in that field and help those around you gain the same passion you have.” said Mary-Hanna Bowe, a senior volleyball and softball player at Homer High.

As money gets tight in education I think it’s important for adults to understand how much of an impact sports have in the lives of high school student athletes. Our community needs to remember that so many of the skills learned while playing sports are ones that we, as athletes, will use for the rest of our lives.

Rylyn Todd is a student at Homer High School.