Unfair levels in high school competition

When stepping up to the court or the field, it’s a natural feeling for an athlete to be clouded with fear or worries. For our freshman, competing in a high school sport can change their perspective of competition. Most beginning athletes have been apart of some youth program, a balanced and fair playing field. However when they join a high school team, the level of fairness might not always be so simple.

Through my years of high school sports, I have seen and been apart of a wave of fairness. During my freshman year, because of the lack of members in the sport, I was placed in multiple varsity lineups. This was a challenge that I wasn’t scared to face. I figured that being in a varsity team would prepare me for my years to come. However, I was constantly paired against upperclassmen who had more experience.

Although there was some experience to gain from going against these individuals, losing these matches shrank my confidence. I began to doubt my expertise and strength. Trying to beat a these individuals seemed impossible. Although this builds drive and motivation, I wasn’t prepared to face individuals who had a clear advantage over me. There is plenty of humiliation that comes from being a freshman but having nothing to give my teammates, crushed my self esteem. Losing started to even dwindle the idea of commitment in the sport.

Ideas of quitting have developed because of the glorification of winning. The only thing that became promising about a sport was being able to have ‘playing-time.’ To some athletes, ‘playing-time’ can mean ten minutes out of a whole season. Luckly, as my years progressed so did my level of confidence as well as my skills.

During tournament or races I started to place higher, and all the commitment started to pay off. Still all the competition I once had seems unworthy because the previous rivals have graduated. I am now an upperclassmen battling against individuals who are new to the sport. I couldn’t tell if I had gotten better or if the level of competition truly shrank. I now worry if my presence will make another individual quit.

I’m not trying to prevent or persuade incoming freshman for trying out a sport. Join our high school sports teams, but be prepared to face more experience players and face prolific disadvantages.