As a student at Visitation, sports are something that I deeply value. In my experience, participating in school sports brings me the utmost joy. As an athlete that participates in three sports, it would be expected that I enjoy them. Beginning in 7th grade, I have participated in tennis, alpine skiing, and golf. In addition to improving physical health, these sports have had many other benefits in my social and emotional life at Visitation.
Sports have given me a sense of community and belonging. They act as a retreat and give me an opportunity to talk with those other than the peers in my grade or academic community. They all allow me to be active and outdoors no matter the season. I am able to spend my time in sports with those who share similar interests and skill sets as me. When I am with my Visitation teammates, there is always something we have in common outside of the classroom setting, and we laugh, have inside jokes and a sense of family. Sports allows me to decompress after long days of work and ultimately allow me to be in the best mindset for all the awaiting academic tasks I have to complete.
Additionally, sports have allowed me to create relationships with upperclassmen and people in different grades. Because I have been part of high school sports for three years, I have been able to meet many older girls and get to know them in a way that would otherwise not be possible to me. Although this may not seem extremely significant, these connections have helped me through my years at Vis. Whether it be a quick hello in the hallways or sisterly advice, I value all of these small moments with my teammates. The older girls that I have been able to spend my time with have influenced me and my choices and have made me a better player, teammate, and more mature athlete. I perceive so many of my upperclassmen teammates as role models in my life. They have taught me how to play with grace, gentle strength, maturity, and showed me how to treat those younger than myself.
Because of COVID-19, this year in particular much of my school year and high school experience has been different, than years before and different than I expected for myself as a freshman.Through all of this, sports have provided normalcy in my life. Whatever happens in the day, I know that I will always be able to go and practice with my teammates after school. The sports I participate in ground me and give a sense of balance in these uncertain times.
As an athlete at Visitation, my sports are a way for me to expand my relationships while participating in activities that I enjoy with people who feel the same. It gives me an outlet for physical health, competition, and community. Sports allow me to create a community with other students I normally wouldn’t have and provide stability, balance, and joy in my life.