The Pros and Cons of Being on a Sports Team
Being on a college sports team requires dedication and skill. Many students wonder if joining a team would be a right fit for them. A 6:30 AM practice isn’t for anyone. Competitions every weekend might drain someone while giving another person the motivation to make it through the week. Talking with several athletes and non-athletes, I collected what seem to be the major pros and cons of joining a sports team at NJIT.
Social life: Every freshman athlete says the same thing. Coming to NJIT for the first time, it was so nice having a friend group “pre made,” so to speak. Instead of having to meet everyone as a complete stranger, you are “part of the team,” and teammates look on you as a friend from the start. Most teams are very close knit unit. Athletes spend a lot of time hanging out with each other. Practicing multiple times every week together makes people bond quickly and strongly.
Staying in shape: Being on a sports team obviously forces athletes to work out. The workouts, lifting, runs, etc. that athletes do keeps them fit and healthy. It can also help them mentally. Studies show that physical activity helps with memory and learning, in addition to making a person happier.
Doing what you love: If you love a certain sport, few things are more rewarding than getting with a group of people with a similar love and doing what you enjoy most.
Free gear: Let’s be real, the free jackets, backpacks, shirts, etc. are a nice plus of joining any team. Team gear generally commands respect from other students. It shows that you are good at something and work hard to be on the team. Plus it means fewer trips to Sports Authority for clothes shopping.
Lack of time: When you spend several hours every day dedicated to a sports team, you have much less time to spend on other aspects of your life. If you don’t have excellent time management skills, classes/grades can suffer. You may find that you just don’t have the time to finish your homework before you have to run out to practice. Also, your social life outside of the team can suffer, since you simply don’t have much time to spend with people not on the team.
Lack of sleep: In order to balance all the different aspects of life, athletes may give up sleep. This can affect a person’s ability to function at peak levels and make the person feel tired at all times of the day.
Injuries: Everyone sees athletes walking around with the ice wraps. Injuries are a fairly common occurrence, whether it be something minor like a strained ankle or major like a stress fracture. You have to be careful if you are on a team to avoid over pushing yourself.
Being on a sports team is definitely not for everyone. However, if you excel in a certain sport and have good time management skills, you should seriously consider joining a team. Almost every athlete I talk to says that joining a sports team was a great decision for them.