GPB Sports Blog

GPB Sports Blog

Jackie Brittain

Sports Matter in High School-- Here's Why

By Jackie BrittainPosted September 7, 2011 5:08pm (EDT)
Sports Matter in High School-- Here's Why

Hey Sports fans! Welcome to my blog! I encourage everyone to chime in and give me your input on anything that I choose to discuss here. I’m giving my opinion, so why not give me yours?

This week’s blog is going to circle around the poll question for Football Friday’s and that is whether or not athletics is as essential to high schools as academics.

Well, I have a HUGE opinion on this!

First things first: this matters to me because when I was in high school, I played tennis and basketball and I attribute both sports as the core of my lifestyle today. I believe that hands down, sports are just as important as academics and for some people, it can lead to amazing opportunities in college.

Being involved in sports helped me become more well rounded, taught me discipline and made me conscious about exercising. It also helped that I loved the sport, and that’s always key to sticking with something.

I believe that there are some cases when kids need to have activities to keep them busy in order to keep them out of trouble.

Who are some people in your life that this has affected? Who are some of your role models that you know have gone through the same thing?

High school sports isn’t just about being in shape or being a jock. It may seem that way on the outside, but it’s all about character building and setting the foundation of who you’re going to be in life.

High school is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of your life. You grow so much during those years and I can’t imagine how different of a person I would be today if it hadn’t been a part of me.

My best years of high school were spent on the tennis court. As a kid, I always played tennis but in high school I suddenly became really competitive. My best friend and I grew up together since we were 5 years old playing tennis. Then when we were in high school, we were competing against each other for the No. 1 singles position. Things got awkward, we both wanted it.

In every match I would pretend my opponent was Maria Sharapova. It would motivate me to play my absolute best. I would always sing a song in my head because it helped me focus. On breaks between points, I would fixate my gaze on my strings to keep my focus too.

I remember everything from re-wrapping the grip of my racket to the smell of the court, just as spring was approaching.

For my junior prom I was asked by a tennis ball I found in my bag when I got home from practice. “Prom?” it said. I knew who it was from and of course, I accepted.

I remember crying over a few matches, particularly the one against Ola. I shouldn't have lost that one and I beat myself up about it for days. I had to learn to move on.

I absolutely loved what it felt like to win, but hated what it felt like to lose even more. I remember running bleachers for conditioning in the winter and how much I cringed at the thought of it when the 3:30 bell rang.

As much as any student hates homework, I knew that if my GPA wasn't at a certain level, I was out for the next match, at least. If my teachers didn't sign off on my weekly grade report, I would have a LOT more to worry about than bleachers.

To be able to play, I knew that grades would have to come first. I disciplined myself to get the grades until senior year and then I needed the help of a tutor. Thank God for great tutors :)

Our team quickly became a family and I learned to appreciate that relationship much more after I realized it was gone. After high school it was hard for me to understand that I wasn’t playing tennis anymore and that I probably never would again. Well, I wouldn’t have that “family” again. You can always play tennis but our team had turned into so much more than just a team.

I kept in touch with my high school coaches, especially after one of our assistant coaches passed away from Cancer. Rest in peace Coach Fowler.

Many of my memories are the repetition of hitting tennis balls over and over again, but I don't remember a single score from a single match. However, I will always remember how tennis brought out the best in me and gave me some of the greatest memories of my life.

All these things shaped me into the person I am now. I still play tennis in Atlanta for ALTA and when I do, it makes me feel whole again.

Thankfully I can look back on my high school years as a tennis player and I’m grateful for the people who influenced my life during that time.
Athletics is absolutely essential for personality development in high school and I hope that if you are involved, you appreciate your coaches and respect them because if it weren’t for them, where would you be?

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