The Sting Present Opposing Viewpoints: The Toxicity or Benefits of High School Sports

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Sports Improve the Body and the Mind
By Corey Hevel

Sports are a major part of any student’s life. Almost everyone has a memory from some little league sports team they participated in, and some will go on to play sports through all of their time in school. There is a reason why sports are introduced so early in a child’s life. They offer an entertaining and competitive way to keep both the body and mind healthy.

It’s not hard to see why sports promote a healthy body. They are a great way to exercise and train multiple muscles at the same time. Going to a gym may help in training certain muscles, but playing sports is the best way to train every part of your body. Participating in sports at a younger age promotes a healthier lifestyle throughout the rest of your life. Someone who plays sports in high school is more likely to continue regularly exercising in adulthood.

In addition, sports also strengthen your mind. Playing sports increases the amount of blood flow to the brain. This causes more nerve connections to form in your brain, which is linked to causing improvements in memory, problem-solving ability and creativity. As a result, academically, sports help students rather than harm them by distracting them from schoolwork.

It may be argued that some specific practices promote a more toxic subculture. One example may be engaging in an unhealthy diet in order to meet a certain weight class in weightlifting. However, this is only the fastest way to compete in the sport, not the only way. It is not a requirement of the sport to engage in an unhealthy lifestyle, only the choice of an individual. It is possible to meet your intended weight class through a healthy diet, though it will be admittedly harder and may take longer than other methods.

That being said, the only way sports promote an unhealthy lifestyle is when it is the choice of an individual, not an inherent part of the sport. Sports improve the health of your mind and body, and encourage retaining healthy practices throughout adulthood. They provide benefits to both students and their futures.


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Sports Present a Toxic Environment to Student Athletes
By Arianna Pardue

Children are introduced to sports at a very young age and told that sports build character and leadership skills. However, while sports might build students up, They also tear them down. The glorification of sports has caused negative effects for years; as a result, players’ issues have been overlooked.

Sports frequently teach boys to suppress their vulnerability, harness aggression and dominance. The idea of winning is everything, which is constantly being pushed on the players. Sports also insinuate that boys can’t show emotion or be vulnerable, with the word “gay” often being thrown around in sports as if it is wrong to identify as gay.

Sports can also cause mental illnesses like anxiety. Players are constantly pressured to be the best player in the league. This places stress on the player to maintain a winning streak or place first through third. Mental health is often overlooked in sports because pressure and anxiety have become a part of the norm.

Eating disorders have developed due to sports like powerlifting or wrestling. These sports compete in weight ranks. The team members are weighed constantly and have to maintain a certain weight to compete. This results in many student athletes having to lose or gain weight to compete, which may cause them to reach unhealthy weights. The constant pressure to lose or gain weight has pushed many that participate to develop eating disorders.

Overall, sports may be a fun hobby for individuals of all ages, but players often suffer both mentally and physically. Whether it be difficulty with expressing emotion and being vulnerable or developing disordered eating, engaging in sports can cause much more harm than good. Consider the possibility of toxicity that comes with being a part of sports before trying out for a team.,the%20youth%20to%20professional%20level