The Struggle of School Sports


School sports can be the most exciting and fun time for many students who enjoy representing their school team. Sports like football, volleyball, and soccer are cut sports, meaning not everyone will be able to make the team in a season. This can be a problem for a lot of students. But school sports have never been something that I have shown an interest in very much even though I am a volleyball player.


I have played volleyball ever since I was 6 years old and finally gave it up when I was 13 for over two years. Now being a 16 year old junior in high school, I do wish I had continued playing throughout my high school experience, but ever since my first school season in seventh grade, middle school, it took that idea away from me for a very long time. The idea of playing for my school completely left my mind since I never had a good experience before.


It’s not that I don’t like the idea of representing my school in volleyball, but having to deal with everything else surrounding it is what pushes me away. The problems that I have always faced are that I don’t play club, the struggle with the social aspects, and not having enough energy to deal with everything surrounding it are all what keeps me from pursuing volleyball farther in my life past coaching. I do still enjoy volleyball outside of school and enjoy every moment of coaching these girls who will hopefully have the mindset to want to play for school volleyball.


Being a volleyball coach, volleyball is one of my favorite sports ever. I love the adrenaline rush and diving to the floor to make saves. Even though I always enjoyed every minute on court, it was hard for me to keep my passion for volleyball in middle school since I didn’t play club. It took too much time, money, and seemed like it was a very intimidating thing to do. In school sports it seems like club plays a very big role for the team.

All these girls on the team that I coach are 10 and 11, including my sister. All of them are enjoying volleyball to the max right now just like how I felt in my younger ages.


My sister has the strongest passion for volleyball I have ever seen and enjoys diving and spiking all over the court. The problem I am concerned with is that she doesn’t play club. Just like how my older sister and I never played club and affected the idea of playing in school sports. We are hoping things become different for her high school experience in school sports and that the social aspects no longer play a role in playing time, but rather the talent you have in volleyball or any other sport is what determines it. There is always the judgment of not playing club by girls also trying out which prevent many non club players from trying to represent their school team.


I don’t want to take away from the volleyball girls on the team and say that these girls replacing me weren’t good and that I was better because a lot of these girls had a lot of talent; it just so happened that I could do a lot of things they could do but never got the chance to show them on the court. But actually the favoritism being shown through coaching and who got the most playtime is why I keep talking about the problem with school sports. It’s the same as in high school and while I never took my chance to play in high school I have seen many games where amazing girls never got the chance to play because of others being close to coaches or overall having more social aspects to others who are sitting on the bench.


What I mean by social aspects playing a role in sports is that it is basically a contest on who knows the coach the best or who played in the best clubs. People that weren’t playing were all the ones that were good enough but didn’t play for the right clubs that the coaches were looking for. I’m not just saying it is Mountain Ridge who is only thinking about clubs, but most schools are becoming the same way on choosing girls who have played for better clubs.


The social aspect of playing for an expensive club or clubs at all is what prevented me from being treated like other girls on the middle school team. Constantly being compared to a club player took a toll on me. I was always told I was doing things wrong. Everything from not keeping my feet planted when I passed to taking too many steps when I would serve. I never thought these habits of mine to be known as “problems” because of how I was getting my passes to the setter and making a lot of my serves over. Not to mention the girl I was always compared to playing for the club for our specific coach. The difference was she played club and I didn’t. Our coach for the season was a club coach for many years and most of the girls on my team played for his club; you could say there were different rules for all of us.


There has always been this thought in the back of my mind that it is more on how much you spent on volleyball rather than how well you played. It always seemed like the ones who played the most spent the most money overall. Thousands of dollars a season being played for little time with clubs.


I’m not saying all clubs are like this, but spending thousands of dollars to play a sport that you love and then not even getting the chance to even step foot inside the court. This is a lot like high school sports and it isn’t even just with volleyball. Sports like football have over fifty kids on a single team and many don’t always get playing time. This all does carry on over into the professional side of sports. Take college volleyball or the NFL, for example, who have many great players on the team but have their best starting lineups who play for most the time. Or the best offense and defense players that are starting lineups giving others the chance to just stand on the sidelines and not step foot on the field or court.


All of this is the same for middle school, high school, and professional sports, and while it may not be the most fair thing it is how it is. Not to say that you have to play club to be a good player but it plays in the social part of sports in school. This isn’t to complain about school sports since so many excel in this but to show the struggles of club and the social part of sports.