The strain of sports: Why taking a break is important


Timothy Eberly vis Unsplash

Athlete takes a break during practice to recover.

Owen Gannaway, Sports Editor

Across the nation, participating in a high school sport is one of the most popular extracurricular choices for students. There were a total of eight million student athletes in the 2017-2018 year, and of the schools that responded to the survey, 43% of the athletes participated in two or more sports. However, with a limited amount of time, many of these athletes have to deal with very intense seasons with very little break in between.

For many, a strenuous time is approaching: the transition from the winter season to the spring season. At PV, there are only two weeks between the end of winter sports such as basketball and wrestling, and the start of spring sports such as track and soccer. This gives athletes very little time to not just rest their bodies, but to rest their minds. “It’s difficult to manage playing multiple sports while balancing school and other activities outside of school. This intense schedule ultimately beats you down because you have so little time to let your mind and body recuperate,” said Caden Rubel, a sophomore in basketball and soccer. Many cases have shown taking a break improves the athlete’s performance and happiness.

The importance of rest is not just about physically recovering, but also mentally. These long seasons with countless practices and games with no real rest can be a challenge for the mind as well. “As an athlete, it’s essential to take breaks. Other than the risk of overworking yourself physically, you must give yourself time mentally recover,” said senior Addie Kerkhoff who participates in both basketball and soccer.

Balancing sports with homework and other activities outside of school can be a real challenge for many athletes. By taking a break, it allows for athletes to recover and recharge. This break will also be time for them to plan out the next season and how to manage it.

Although it is difficult for athletes to slow down from their fast-paced life, taking a break in between seasons is essential. Unfortunately, unlike physical health athletes are often scrutinized for taking time off for mental health. This is disappointing because studies show that taking time off will allow athletes to not only improve their mindset and mentality while playing, but also improve their performance on the field. So while athletes just want to keep playing, stepping back for a break has numerous benefits.