Lessons learned from sports

Being an athlete goes beyond what it seems


Carina Muniz

As a little girl, I was involved in sports like softball, playing the sport for nearly five years. However, since my entrance to high school my academic life has completely consumed my time and priorities.

On Dec. 7, I attended Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) first Junior Varsity Girls’ Water Polo game against West Hills High. Watching the team play, communicating with each other to score and beat the opposing team, sparked an old sense of nostalgia within me.

While I’ve never been a part of a girls’ water polo team before, for five years I played softball for the Bonita Valley Girls’ Softball Association. Similarly to the BVH Girls Water Polo team, I practiced teamwork, discipline and most importantly, I had fun. I didn’t know it then, but softball went beyond exercising and throwing softballs. In retrospect, the sport gave me a place to come out of my shell and learn how to develop skills like hand-eye coordination and sportsmanship.

It seems as if time has passed me by and unfortunately, I will leave high school wishing I had joined a sport. Although it’s just as easy for me to blame my absence in sports to academics and extracurriculars, looking at my peers around me, I’ve observed that managing the responsibilities of school and sports is not an impossible feat.

From water polo to football, trying out a sport offered at school would surely make the time much more enjoyable and, overall, enhance the high school experience.”

— Carina Muniz

Something I had taken for granted was the exercise involved in playing a sport; as an athlete, you are constantly moving. Since my sophomore year, I have ceased from taking any Physical Education (PE) courses, leaving me to find time outside of school to ensure I am watching my health by exercising. During my days as a softball player, exercise was a given: Pushups, running, arm stretches and many other activities were a common practice.

According to the University of Rochester’s, “Benefits of Sports to Students,” studies show that exercise increases blood flow to the brain and encourages the body to build more connections between nerves, “leading to increased concentration, enhanced memory, stimulated creativity, and better-developed problem solving skills.”

Not only that, but playing sports supports students mentally as well. Sports acts as an outlet for stress which decreases peoples chances at stress-related illnesses. Participation in sports can have long-term effects on a students’ mental health. As said by WebMD’s. “Benefits of Sports for Mental Health,” researchers found that children who partook in team sports had better mental well-being when they were adults.

Fortunately, BVH offers a variety of sports to select from. From water polo to football, trying out a sport offered at school would surely make the time much more enjoyable and, overall, enhance the high school experience. Playing sports allows students to develop skills in all aspects of life, mentally and physically, while still allowing room for fun.