Not everyone remembers high school with fondness; the peer pressures to fit in, the bullying, the cliques all make high school an uncomfortable place to be. One of the most noted, and most constant clique battles, is between the jocks and the geeks. While the geek may inherit the earth with their brains and skills, there is a lot to be said for the benefits of playing high school football.
No one person wins a football game. Ever. It may seem like it sometimes, but there really are eleven guys out there, giving it their all. There are individual stars, of course, but those stars will not shine without the rest of the team giving them the opportunity. Playing high school football gives the participants experience in being a team. The athletes learn to combine their talents and function as a unit to achieve a common goal.
Improving Your Health
Being a football player means dedicating yourself to building a healthy body, one that is in proper physical conditioning to play the sport. A high school football player is a healthy teenager, with all the benefits entails. The average high school teenager is not in good shape; those who play for the school teams are, and they maintain their health outside of the football program.
Improving Your Mind
The average high school teen doesn’t spend a lot of time working on memorizing tactics or strategies. The high school athlete, especially the football player, has to learn their team’s plays, and has to be able to analyze the game as it unfolds, in order to know what play to call. The defense has to be able to analyze the opposition, and read its plays as they happen, in order to successfully prevent the other side from scoring. The offense has to be able to read the defense’s lineup, in order to call a successful play. Football is more of a mental game than it gets credit for, and playing for your high school team develops the athlete’s mind more than just school work can. It can also improve the athlete’s performance in some subjects.
Learning to Compete
As much whining is done about how competition in school is a bad thing, playing high school football gives the student athlete a leg up on his classmates. Football is about competition; so is life. Playing football teaches the players about competition; how to win, and how to lose with grace. There is one winner and one loser in every football game; learning how to cope with losing in a non-threatening environment is a good thing – it prepares the players for losing in real life, as well as winning. It can be just as hard to be a graceful winner as a graceful loser.
Learning about Camaraderie
People who are not part of groups have no idea the bonding going on between the participants. Struggling together to achieve a common goal binds the teammates together; the bond is very often for life. Soldiers in combat, astronauts launching into space, fraternities, and sororities, working together with their fellow members all forge lifelong bonds of friendship. Learning about this at the high school level teaches the athletes about true friendship.
There are those who say high school football is too dangerous, and doesn’t provide enough benefits to outweigh the risks. These people are wrong – what you can learn from playing high school football serves you well in the rest of your life. Having an inflated ego, and putting down those not in the jocks clique is a function of being young; you grow out of this as you mature. Taking the benefits of being a high school football player with you as you move on to the next journey can give you a leg up as you move on down the road.