The Importance of Athletics

The Importance of Athletics

Michael Kleeman, News Editor

As our winter sports wind to an end, and our spring sports continue on, it’s important to recognize why sports are important to students, and people in general. In our modern sedentary society, it can often be difficult to make time to exercise, and to stay in shape. Fortunately, sports provide a unique incentive to increase fitness that is based on both work and play. Some of the best workouts you will partake in are simply pickup basketball games, or playing a scrimmage game of football or baseball.

Often times people favor academics, and there is reason to do so, as most of humanity’s advances come from a well-educated mind. However, while that is true, there is still no reason to dismiss athletics, and the positive effects that can arise from sports participation and training. Also, many mental virtues are cultivated through physical trials and tribulations.

No other endeavor or activity can form bonds similar to the friendship and comradery which is experienced within a well-functioning sports team, with the exception of military service. A team’s chemistry is a special component to their success. Through a team’s struggles, friendships can be born that last many years. All the times in which a sports team is practicing, on the bus, or in the locker-room, that team is bonding. This is especially relevant in today’s age of modern technology and cellphones. It seems ever more prevalent to see people, especially the young, fixated on their electronic gadgets, rather than being aware and in tune with the world around them. Sports provide a captive group of people, free from modern distractions. This environment, fostered through team sports, is an ideal environment for people to form alliances and fraternize.

In addition to the bonds that can form through sports, athletics also give rise to positive character traits such as a strong work ethic, determination, and focus. These qualities come from the physical struggles of sports, but also the mental. It takes a certain kind of mental fortitude to make the game winning shot, or to succeed when your team is down.

In addition to the mental and physical strength that can be cultivated through athletic competition, often times, especially in rougher neighborhoods, sports can serve as a distraction from the outside world. Sports can keep the youth of less-affluent neighborhoods, or neighborhoods that are crime-ridden, from joining gangs or being influenced to abuse drugs. After all, drug use is incongruent to a healthy athlete and detrimental to their play.

So whether an athlete is representing Birmingham, or simply playing a game in their yard, let’s recognize the benefits of their activity for their future development, and make sure we cheer our student athletes on.