NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Student athletes can learn valuable lessons through participation

A person who is proficient in sports and other forms of exercise is considered an athlete.

All over America throughout history much of our youth has been driven to participate in a sport while they are growing up.

I really want to stress that I think you can learn a lot of valuable lessons when doing a sport that you can use in all the phases in life.

Being involved in a team environment builds character and gives a young adult the sense of basic social skills that can be used while growing up.

Youth sports is kind of a family atmosphere, just like when at an occupation you need to learn how to work with your coworkers, when involved in a sport it is the same thing.

There is a sense that if someone goes down it is your responsibility to get them back up. Being involved with any type of sports can develop a lot of leadership skills also. Being able to talk to a group of people and direct them through a task that needs to be done is easier said than done.

The beauty of playing sports throughout your whole life is that at the start it is purely for fun, but like everything in life it gets more serious over time.

Once everyone reaches about the middle school level and are really molding into themselves is when things get a little more serious. The sports become a little more competitive as more of the kids get better at what they are doing.

Coaches get more serious and start to expect more from student athletes. School teams mostly have cuts so not everyone can make it.

This process I would have to say is probably the hardest part of growing up as an athlete. Right then and there they need to decide if this what they really want. Not only are they going to have to dedicate their time, but their body. Playing sports is not easy on your body especially when you are a kid, and your boy is still not even fully developed. There is a risk of injury and if you play a contact sport there is a pretty high risk of a head injury which is extremely severe.

As the athlete moves on to high school this is where you are playing to win now, and you are most likely representing the school that they go to and the town that they live in. I had the chance to be the manger for a lot of teams growing up and I can guarantee you there is no better feeling then running out with your teammates in front of the whole town and under those Friday night lights. Being an athlete in high school truly is a really hard task. Not only do practices run longer and every single day, the coursework load from your classes must be taken care of also. Your routine to be honest is wake up go to school then go to practice come home do all the homework you were assigned and then shower and go to bed then do it all over again. It is exhausting mentally and physically, but at the end of the day if you love the game, it should be worth it to you.

The first two years of high school athlete is really a preparation for when you will be an upper classman and playing for the varsity team. Freshman and Sophomore year is more about building bonds that can last for all four years when you are playing in more meaningful games. Not that junior varsity games are not important because they are this is where you continue to build relationships with teammates, but not only that you have to develop your skills at the sport and if you want to have an important part on the varsity team you really have to perfect your craft.

A lot of people are asking is this all worth it in the end? To those people I say yes!

If you had success at the varsity level in high school, there is a good chance that you can continue your athletic career at a college. This is not an easy task at all, and I don’t want anyone to think it is. To play sports at the collegiate level is extremely hard and getting an offer from a school is not an easy to do either. The reality is most people are not division one athletes and it is hard to reach this level. This does not mean you cannot go to a division 2 or 3 school or even a community college to continue to play the sport you love. Starting at a two-year community college is honestly a great idea. For example, here at Northern Essex Community College we offer a bunch of sports, and this is a great way of getting seen by other colleges you may want to finish at.

One of my best friends growing up, Anthony Caggenoli, was an extremely talented football player growing up ever since he was 10. To be honest he was probably the best football player I have ever seen. He was born gifted with that athletic ability and to see him grow into the player he is now has been an honor. Anthony plays division 3 football at Endicott College, and he is the starting running back.

I even got Anthony to answer some questions for this report because he is a great credible source when it comes to this stuff. My first question to him was what does he find the biggest struggle being a college athlete?

Anthony responded with, “you know waking up at 6 in the morning and putting all of that athletic load on your body that early has to be the toughest part, but it does prepare you for the rest of the day which I enjoy”. Next, I asked him if the best part of being able to play football at Endicott? His response,” Being able to go to school on a scholarship really helped me out and my family because I am now lucky enough to leave college with a little debt and without football this would not have been possible.

The bottom line in life as an athlete is not an easy thing to do even if you are not a professional. These kids at a young age sacrifice their bodies, time, social life’s, etc. just to play a game that they love, and I believe that is the beauty of it. Sports is an extreme positive to someone’s life because they can take all these lessons and use them in their everyday life. Having a teammate mentality can only make you more successful in life because you know how to work well with others!