by: Zoe Weisner
After the school season ends, it’s easy for athletes to become inactive for the rest of the year. Structured sports are hard to find outside of school, and many believe that it’s best to lay low until the next season. However, this idea is completely wrong. Many people do not know that there is an opportunity to train outside of school by playing for a club team.
Some club teams play for recreational purposes, while others fight to earn a top spot in their divisions. This gives equal opportunity to players of varying levels and allows players cut from a school team the chance to compete without being shut out for the rest of the year.
According to the National Alliance for Sports, every year 20 million kids register for youth hockey, football, baseball and other competitive sports. However, 70 percent of kids quit playing these league sports by age 13 and never play them again. The main reason for this is that playing sports becomes less fun and overly competitive for students in high school. However, by participating in club sports, students can avoid the competition and continue playing the sport for their overall enjoyment.
Because club sports have a longer duration, this extra time can improve a player’s ability and experience level. Practices are much more intense, since teams may meet only twice a week instead of every day for school teams. Club sports are also especially beneficial to those who attend schools with competitive school teams. In order to stay ahead of one’s competition, it’s important to maintain one’s physique, ability and skill during the off-season. Athletes also have more opportunities to compete with teams from different areas. Through this process, students are able to master techniques at a faster rate than otherwise.
Aside from improving athletic ability, club players learn to bond with a diverse crowd. This is because it is unlikely that most athletes on a club team will attend the same school. Therefore, players have opportunities to create friendships with new people.
The longer an athlete competes in different club teams, the more connections he or she establishes, which can also have benefits outside of sports. Having friendships with a diverse set of people is a great resource if one wants help with school, more social opportunities or finding new interests in life.
Although playing for a club team requires a considerable amount of effort, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. If an athlete is committed to improving his or her ability outside of school, joining a club team is a convenient option that also allows an athlete to make new friends. However, even if one is not a hardcore athlete, participating on a club team can be another way to have fun with new people while exercising at the same time.