A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Sports are about competition, not having fun

If sports were all about having fun, we would not keep score. If sports were all about having fun, everyone would have equal playing time. If sports were all about having fun, we would not have a giant trophy case showing off everything our school has ever won. This is not to say that sports are not fun, but that is not their main focus. The point of athletics is competition. This competition forms the basis as to why sports are enjoyable.

We encourage competition and rivalry between schools. We put our best players on the field to battle it out against another school’s top athletes. This contest is acceptable when it is between schools. However, when it comes to competition within our own athletic programs, we discourage it by not allowing our sport teams to cut individuals from the team.

As stated before, athletics are all about competition. The team with the more talented and athletic players wins. However, this culture of competition is discouraged within our school. On our athletic teams, we do not cut students from our teams. The whole idea behind coaching a sport is putting the best players on the field. When our coaches do not cut students from teams, it hurts the program as a whole. For instance, when there are too many girls going out for the tennis team, the courts are too crowded, and many times, there are not enough matches for all of the girls to play. The excess of players brings down the whole team.

Our school continues to take away situations where students “fail”, in hopes that no student will feel bad about themselves and no angry parents will call the school demanding justice. However, a little failure now and then is a good thing. It gives us something to persevere through. The best athletes are not the best athletes because they were born with raging biceps and ripped torsos. To be good at something you have to work at it. Sure, every now and then you will run into setbacks, but that is life, is it not? The most common example I can think of is Michael Jordan being cut his freshmen year. Do you think that he would have worked as hard as he did to improve if he had not been cut? I honestly do not.

There are many that would argue that cutting athletes from sports teams discourages them from trying out again next year, which I can understand. But being cut from an athletic team should be a wake up call. You were not good enough for the team this year, so if you want to play next year . . . you better get to work.

This idea of self-improvement instills much needed hard work and perseverance in young adults. Sure, it sucks being cut from a team, I have been there, but the practice of using that failure as fuel to improve is an important skill missing in Harrisonville’s athletes today.