High school sports programs are at risk as school budgets are cut and the high school dropout rate remains steady. When resources are scarce, the first to experience discomfort or near destruction are the arts and sports. Both are deemed “unimportant” or “secondary” to math, science, and english. On both the professional and amatuer level, public support (mostly money) are needed to run successful sports programs. So we pose the question, “What if American culture look like if there were no high school sports?”
Motor skills are developed throughout childhood and into early adulthood with the help of parents and coaches. Physical fitness and nutritional habits are part of our daily lives and require strict attention. Research shows individuals have seven intelligences: 1) Linguistic 2) Logical-mathematical 3)Spatial 4) Kinesthetic 5) Musical 6) Interpersonal 7) Naturalist. Schools only cater to 5, leaving social and physical development to a few P.E. classes. Without high school athletics, many teens would suffer physically, emotionally and intellectually.
Dr. Richard King of Washington State University, recently asked students what college athletics means to them. Here is what he found, “ At least one student is here on scholarship, and said they wouldn’t be in college without sport. Twenty percent said life would be very lacking in the United States if we didn’t have sport. A number of people were really puzzled about what we do with our competitiveness, and some people just couldn’t really comprehend what that would mean. In general I’d say the students, probably because most of them like sport, thought that it’s just a crazy idea that would ruin the world.”
Additionally, It’s no secret to any parent in America, that getting your children involved in sports is costly; whether it’s cleats or hockey skates, team uniforms or custom practice shirts. The function of uniforms and athletic gears is warranted; it keeps athletes safe, injury free and most importantly, unites students as a teammates. However, without organized sports, team stores and screen printers (like Winning Streak) would likely have no place in the business world.
As much as some might hate to admit it, sports culture unites our country. It goes back as far as the Civil War when soldiers spread baseball from the north to the south. Athletics were perpetuated with the advent of the brute strength and skill engrained in football. And most recently, the popularity of soccer has closed the gender gap that began with Title IX.
Instead of imagining America without athletics, support your local teams. Attend games, buy team jerseys and appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into developing as an athlete.