At my local park, I often play basketball, when it’s warm, at least once or twice a week. There, I have honed my skills as a athlete, wanting to imitate the likes of Ray Allen and Carmelo Anthony. However, when I head to school, I am only an Asian boy looking for an education.
High Schools currently fail, at least from what I have seen at my current school, to incorporate enough student participants in sports. Society often blames the current trend of obesity in teenagers on junk food and unhealthful school lunches; the thought of exercise is rarely ever touched upon. Although students attend physical “education” classes, these futile attempts to squeeze in time for exercise is not working. Between changing in locker rooms, which takes at least fifteen minutes away from a period, and taking attendance, there is only twenty to twenty five minutes left for activity – almost useless.
People then suggest students to join the school’s sports team. The problem with this is simple: limited spots on teams result in a myriad of people who are left out of the teams. Furthermore, some teams are so settled in, with a roster the COACH wants, that making team would require amazing talent and skill, resulting in former junior varsity players and favored students to garner a higher chance of making the team. This is yet another failure of the education system.
Let’s take my attempt in joining the varsity basketball team last year. For one, the announcements for the tryouts were so obscure and almost meant to be hidden – a clear indication that the coach does not want new players and pretty much has a set roster for the season. However, I was able to notice the single sheet of paper calling for tryouts next to the gym. Tryouts were terrible. I hardly played the quality of basketball I wanted, but at least I tried. Many of the players were better than I was, and I respected that. As I was running back for the last run I had to do, for missing a free throw, my calf cramped up to the the rigorous day of basketball I went through; I probably should have stretched. I crumbled to the floor, waiting for the coach to give a sign of care or just rushing over to ask what was wrong. He didn’t. He took one look and continued talking with his players. I was helped off the court by two friends, grimacing in pain. That day spelled out the huge disparity in quality and respectable varsity sports.
Not everybody is able to play as well as Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, and Randy Moss. The disability of the school system to provide a second team, to compete in a lower division of sports, cripples the passions of many avid athletes. Coaches who favor players and ignore the outside world only defeats the purpose of playing sports even more. A second basketball or football team would greatly benefit the school by providing additional chances for students to exercise and also socialize through a common admiration.
Making two teams for one sport would come at the expense of the school budget, but I hardly doubt schools wouldn’t be able to come up with enough money if they just stopped printing out superfluous notifications, and fifteen schedules for one student.
But that’s not happening. Fifteen years from now, I can only gape when a high school graduate wonders what a sport is.