According to The Washington Post, “Teens are spending more than one-third of their days [or 9 hours] using media such as online video or music.” So why are there complaints about having two or three hour sports practices five or six days a week?
With spring sports recently starting, there are questions about whether the school’s teams practice too often. All teams practice Monday through Friday, except on days when they have scrimmages or games, and some teams have an additional day of practice on Saturdays. Teams use practice time to improve skills, sportsmanship and team bonding. Montgomery County sports teams are required to have a day off on Sundays. According to MPSSAA.org, “MPSSAA member schools may not play or practice on Sundays.”
Practicing nearly everyday gives players a chance to get to know their teammates faster and spend more time creating chemistry as a team. A team that has bonded more is more likely to succeed. JV girls lacrosse co-captain Madison Linn believes that spending as much time together as a team, in and out of practice, will be helpful for the girls’ upcoming games. “I think we’ve started to play better as a team when we started getting to know each other more,” Linn said.
As well as team bonding and cooperation, having five or six practices a week for a sports team is beneficial to staying on a schedule and keeping focus. Having practices each day allows for little free time and puts athlete’s energy to good use. In addition, Saturday morning practices ensure a good sleep schedule, giving less opportunity to sleep through half of the day. “I like having Saturday practices for football because if we didn’t I would probably sleep in until like 12,” junior Nick Baldwin said.
Practicing six times a week is not too much because students still have time to get their homework and studying done, and also have leisure time. “During cross country season, I did my homework after practice and I still had time to watch TV before bed,” freshman Lauren Katz said.
Additionally, practicing almost every day is not unreasonable because it is a good way to keep oneself in good shape, and everyone is supposed to exercise everyday for health benefits. According to CNN.com, experts, “recommend that children and teenagers exercise [at least] one hour every day.”
If a student is taking multiple challenging courses, volunteers, has a job, or participates in other clubs inside or outside of the school, it may be difficult for them to dedicate two or three hours a day, five or six days a week to the school’s sports team. “Some nights in the fall I had to stay up really late doing AP NSL notes and other homework because I had field hockey practice and Minority Scholars Program after school,” sophomore Hannah Mirza said.
These commitments, however, are not a reason to lessen the amount of sports practices per week. High school, four years of preparation for the future, teaches students skills like time management, and learning to prioritize school work, sports, clubs, and other activities is vital. “As a sophomore, I’ve learned how to balance lacrosse practice with homework and studying,” sophomore Evan McLaughlin said.