Since sports were canceled back in March of 2020, Sam Barlow students have been wanting to get back with their teams. As of March 2021, they are starting to get that back again.
Some sports are starting to meet as a team, while others are still waiting to even see their coaches yet. Let’s go into some Barlow student opinions about their sports and show how sports affect students.
On March 13, 2020 school sports had stopped and students were forced to find other ways to stay active until their sports open again. When asked what they did while their sport wasn’t an option, Abigail Woodard, a tennis player says, “I would go on bike rides, runs, do workouts or just play different sports with friends for fun.” Then adds that she “..misses being able to celebrate normally (high fives, hugs, fist bumps) and watching sports at Barlow.”
Talking with Ashley Webber, a soccer player of six years, she said, “It has been challenging to stay balanced with distance learning, adjust to a new team that has never played together, and it has been hard to look forward. I’m not the only one that feels like this pandemic has been lasting forever. It has been challenging to remember that this is temporary.” When posed the question about what she misses most about soccer, she responded, “I really missed the community that is built within the teams. With distance learning, I haven’t met half of the girls on my team, and it has been impossible to see these new faces or even pass by them in the halls. Being able to play again is a huge step towards seeing these new friendships being built.”
Later, we talked to Aiden Wilson, a cross country and water polo player. His view on the matter was that “It is so amazing that sports are starting again because now I am doing more active things, being healthier, and finally starting to get better. I can’t wait to be able to run with no mask. The mask just takes away from your breathing so you can’t run as fast, I enjoy sports a lot and we need to get back to them as soon as possible.”
Joel Moffat, a basketball and tennis player says, “I missed the sport itself but mostly, I missed the people that I play it with and the competitive spirit of it all.”
Andrew Rasmussen, a swimmer and water polo player of over six years responded when asked to explain what made him want to continue with swimming and water polo, “I want to continue doing sports to have fun competing and to be around teammates.”
Naomi Haring, who does track and volleyball states, “Quarantine has shut down so many opportunities and potential opportunities for both sports. We have been out of the gym for so long that now that we are playing, we are getting hurt because certain muscles that we work within volleyball haven’t necessarily been used during quarantine because we haven’t been playing sports. Another negative is recruiting. For people starting the college recruiting process, which starts freshman year in high school for people wanting to play in college, haven’t been on the court for coaches to see them and to work towards college.”
According to the Indiana youth institute article “Back to School and Back to Sports: The Pros and Cons of School Athletics”, for the pros they say “In addition to the health benefits of participating in school sports, there are also clear academic benefits. Skills such as leadership, teamwork, and effective communication are valuable not only on the field and in the classroom, they are also highly attractive to future employers.” The article even adds to this by stating that “playing sports can also generate social and emotional benefits for our kids. Regular exercise releases many beneficial chemicals in the brain, and student-athletes often report reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Student-athletes are challenged to learn self-discipline and how to control emotions associated with big wins and losses. And simply having fun is a great reason to play sports.”
Although the article has to go into the cons of sports as well such as, “Too often parents, coaches, teams, and the students themselves, push too hard for wins, creating unhealthy performance pressure. If a student already has a packed schedule, perhaps with tough classes and part-time work, adding sports can increase rather than alleviate the child’s stress.” Adding to that matter, “Sports are intended to be enjoyable, with students citing “I wasn’t having fun” as the top reason both males and females quit playing sports.”
Sports are opening back up again from when they were shut down in March of 2020. Now they are finally starting back up again one year later. Hopefully reading this you’ll see how sports have impacted students’ lives and changed them.