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The Pitfalls of High School Sports

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Essay title: The Pitfalls of High School Sports

Children are often exposed to sports at an early age. As they get older and start school they often participate in sports as a way to both make now friends and be active. As the children grow older, progressing into their teenage years, they become more specialized in their sports. The sports that the young people continue with grow in their favor. When the child reaches the high school level, sports take center stage. The pressure for them to perform in sports and perform well is immense. There is the pressure from coaches, teammates, and others to succeed. The futures of the athletes are at stake. They play for the chance of scholarships and to continue their childhood dreams. This immense pressure is very draining on the teenagers. The pressure for them to do well in sports leads to them suffering in other parts of their lives. The young adults miss out on other activities in high school because they are so consumed in their sport. The extreme focus on sports can also be very draining and lead to emotional stress and harm to the individuals. Young athletes are also under pressure not only to give up other activities, but to over-exert themselves in their sport of choice. The intense atmosphere of high school sports can be detrimental to the individuals involved in them.

The experience of high school is a memorable part of one's life. For those individuals involved in sports, the experience can be largely restricted. The experiences of a high school athlete revolve largely around the sport in which they partake. I played high school football. An overwhelming majority of my high school life revolved around football. My friends were mostly football players and my memories are largely football related in some way. The commitment to football prevented me from partaking in virtually any other school activities. I was unable to put in the necessary commitment to any other program such as Student Government or Class Executive Committee. Any involvement was minimal and required service hours had to be forged. I also could not be involved in activities such as our Senior Assembly because it was during football season. I also missed out on back to school dances and Homecoming parades. The typical high school student has the ability to do all of those things and more. They can experience a less stressful, more memorable environment. The experience of a regular student in high school is far from the experiences of high school athletes. High school athletes live a very restricted life. They miss out on many things that their peer students are able to share.

What causes the young people partaking in high school sports to miss out on the other events of the regular students is their extreme commitment to their sport. High school athletes often over-exert themselves in preparation for their sports. In addition to the in-season commitment of hours of practice daily in addition to games, the off-season is often more demanding. There are countless hours of preparations such as conditioning and weight-training. These often take the same amount of time as the in season games and practices, if not more. There are also other activities, like in football there are combines, camps, and passing tournaments. Sports like field hockey, soccer, and basketball have similar camps but are often also have club teams. These club teams consume more time and effort, often traveling vast distances for games and tournaments. The largest problem with this commitment to sport is still the overwhelming commitment to succeed. This can lead to over-exertion in work, such as fanatical weight training or conditioning. The athlete can then risk their own health.

The pressure to succeed can lead to potential short cuts. The use of performance enhancing drugs has become all too common, especially in sports like baseball and football. Athletes try to get every advantage they can in their sports, even if it involves putting their own health at risk. As the professional world of sports demonstrates that use of performance enhancing drugs is widespread and gets people ahead in the world. Former professional football player Lyle Alzado exemplified the reasoning of young people for their use of steroids. He drew little interest from colleges after his high school career. He then began to experiment with steroids which resulted in being drafted to the NFL and playing 15 seasons (Woolwine). The steroid use was also what Alzado believed led to his deteriorated health. He died at the age of 41. His death brought the problem to the foreground for the NFL and forced them to adopt a stronger drug policy. Major League Baseball has just recently employed a testing policy for steroids. This is following the widespread allegations of top athletes using performance enhancing drugs. Those either accused or confirmed users include, former MLB MVPs, home run record holders, as well as an Olympic gold medalist. The chance that these high profile

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