Rec Sports Sub In

Submitted by Anna Jones on Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:26 - 0 Comments
Why students need an alternative to the stressful life surrounding competetive sports
Competitive sports are not the best fit for everyone. While they offer exhilaration and an experience like no other, they also take a toll on students. There are lots of practices and games that are filled with stress, and while there are plenty of upsides, students often need a break or an alternative.
Recreational sports offer the fun of sports minus the competitiveness and stress of competitive sports. While the Lincoln administration does not offer recreational sports, there are several outlets to play. These include Portland Parks and Recreation and leagues for specific sports. 
Roman Smith, a junior at Lincoln High School, has personally played three rec sports on same team as me: basketball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee. When describing the benefits of rec sports, he talked about how it allows for students to get physical activity while still having enough time for school. “Most students are not going to be playing sports professionally so being able to have a good time while still focusing on getting a quality education is a great thing.” He enjoys playing all three rec sports and describes how each provided a unique experience. Each have different levels of intensity and are better fits with different people.
Rec basketball is the most exclusive of the three sports. This means that the teams usually consist of a tight-knit group of guys, where everyone is good friends with each other. It is especially hard for someone to join a team without creating it with friends. I have no experience with the girls league, so it may be different. Additionally, basketball is the most competitive of all the sports I have played recreationally and is not the best option for people who want to learn to play for the first time. Roman Smith, played basketball on a team for the first time last year as a member of our team. 
He noted the “competitiveness and the lack of respect shown by players in what should be a fun and friendly sport.” 
This does not mean that you should not play rec basketball, but it does not fit the mold of what rec sports were designed to be. For someone who seeks the competitive side of sports but maybe didn’t make the school team, rec basketball brings you closer to that atmosphere than the other sports do.
Soccer is less exclusive than basketball. The rec soccer leagues are co-ed with rules that require all people have relatively equal playing time. From my experience, everyone on the team became good friends by the end of the year. I hadn’t played soccer on a team since second grade before I joined the team this year at the request of my friends, and I still had a great time. Roman also played rec soccer on the team and had a much better experience than when he played basketball. 
“Soccer is more inclusive in terms of actually playing the sport but also in the registration,” he said. 
“Anyone who wants to play soccer and goes to Lincoln can sign up for the team, unlike basketball where you can’t sign up by yourself.” 
The co-ed aspect and wide range of skill levels both contribute to its inclusivity.
Frisbee is most inclusive of the three sports that Roman and I played. Anyone can play in the Ultimate League even if you have never touched a frisbee before. We had players at all skill levels but everyone was able to have fun. We lost most of our games, especially against the more experienced teams, but even losing was really fun because everyone was a good sport.  
Roman, who was responsible for organizing the team as well as being our most experienced player, had some words about the philosophy of the sport: “It lives up to its reputation as a very friendly and welcoming sport.” 
This matches my experience with playing Ultimate; everyone was willing to share tips and strategies to others regardless of what team they were on. For someone who is looking for a more welcoming and community based sport, frisbee is a great option.
One example of this welcoming attitude is spirit circles. The idea from its name suggests a childish activity but it really exemplifies what the sport is all about. Teams link arms in a circle and spend a few minutes giving compliments to the other team about what they did well. This kind of act really brings people together and leaves everyone feeling good about themselves as they leave the field. 



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