Weighing the pros/cons of playing club sports during the offseason

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By: Kayal Sirlin ’19

After months of training in anticipation, the time has finally come to show your skills. This is the one week that determines if your hard work has paid off. Whether you’re an incoming freshman hoping to make the team for the first time, or a sophomore or junior pushing to make the Varsity cut, tryouts are draining and can seem never-ending.

Some might wonder how to prepare for such a stressful time, and it seems as if there is no clear answer. This is due to the dependence on the particular person, their skill level, and their willingness to work. However, the student body does seem to divide into two main categories: some take on the challenge of training themselves, while others join club teams in the offseason.

A member of the Beachside Soccer Club, Catherine Sprouls ’19, explained how her spot on a club team improves her skill level while building sportsmanship and character. “It gives me the ability to meet new people and work on my soccer skills in an environment that I enjoy so that when I return to my high school sport, I am even better than before,” Sprouls said. “It also teaches me how to use losing as a method for improvement and play with people I had never met before this season.”

No matter where the training takes place, creating a setting where students can push themselves is crucial.

Bridget Mulloy ’19 believes that improvement can occur in the low-pressure environment of club sports in relation to high school sports. “Club sports are awesome for students who just want to get out, be active, and have fun, without the commitment of being on a Staples team,” Mulloy said.

This low-pressure environment can also be achieved when students train on their own time. “If you are training consistently and are really committed to [a sport], I think it is just as beneficial as playing on a club,” Elle Fair ’19 said.

For the students that partake in club sports, they may notice a variance from what is typically taught at Staples. This is since clubs are not affiliated with school sports. However, Mulloy believes the discrepancy is not drastic, as both “teach the fundamental skills of the game.” According to Mulloy, the difference lies mostly in the backgrounds of the coaches, as well as how they utilize their expertise to communicate with the students.

Josh Buckman ’19 agrees. He found that the training done by school programs are “more personalized since they see you everyday, whereas outside of school, they don’t see you as often.”

Either way, ensuring that one’s skill level does not decrease during the offseason is essential to a good tryout. Runner’s World suggests the importance of eating well and staying fit at the very least, if time cannot be allocated for specific sport training.

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