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Why do athletes love the game?

Senior+Olivia+Isufi+wraps+a+teammate%27s+leg+in+ice.%0APhoto+by+Anthony+Novak+
Senior Olivia Isufi wraps a teammate's leg in ice.
Photo by Anthony Novak

Senior Olivia Isufi wraps a teammate's leg in ice. Photo by Anthony Novak

Senior Olivia Isufi wraps a teammate's leg in ice. Photo by Anthony Novak

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Any spectator watching a sporting event is amazed by the physical and mental toughness of an athlete, their competitiveness, but most importantly, their yearning to play and succeed. When talking to most athletes, their passionate words exemplify their fire to rise to the occasion. It’s as if they live for the sport, and without it they wouldn’t be complete. Why do athletes play sports?

“[I] love doing it…Without [sports] I wouldn’t even know what it would be like,” said Michaela Mueller, a four year soccer, volleyball, and basketball player.

Although players make the game look easy, it requires full commitment and constant work to reach their high level of intensity. Additionally, sports are full of failures.

“We weren’t very good to start the season for basketball. We struggled.We had a bad record, but ended up winning a regional and sectional. We made it to the elite 8 for state,” said senior Peter Lambesis, a varsity basketball player.

After all of the hard work and pain an athlete endures to improve their skills, it can be heart crushing to become injured. Still, they push through the pain and continue playing. So why? Why do athletes play a sport that is so difficult and draining?

“When I was an athlete, I wanted to be the best I could be my first priority wasn’t making my parents proud or my coaches happy,” said Coach Richard McLoughlin, director of strength and conditioning.

“It was about making myself better. As an athlete, the want and desire to succeed and become better starts within,” said Coach McLoughlin

“Sports, deep down in a human being, no matter who you are, brings out a bit of competitiveness in each person,” said Coach McLoughlin.

“That competitiveness , in turn, fuels this inner drive to be better than the day you were before.” Without their competitiveness, an athlete would not succeed in the sports they love.”

Although an athlete may play for their family, friends, and school, they are truly doing it for themselves. Making others proud is a result of the hard work they put into sports. When an athlete is training or playing in a game, they express themselves as a person.

“[Athletes] want to give back to the community,” said Coach Jason Kuffel, assistant boys’ basketball and boys’ lacrosse coach.

“They want to perform well for their families, the school, and their friends… They don’t want to disappoint not only themselves, but the Saint Viator community of their families, parents, grandparents, and siblings. That really inspires them.”

Sports provide many different life skills for athletes. First, they learn early on how essential it is to have time management skills. This is a key not only for training, but also for schoolwork. As student athletes partake in classes, they have the teamwork skills vital for success.

“Sports on a student athlete helps them in a lot different ways,” said Coach Kuffel.

“Not always just studying and being in the books, but also the opportunity to really manage their time and do something positive for their physical well being and their mental well being that is different from the academic side of things.”

Sports provide the perfect real life scenario necessary to engrain skills into athletes brains. On top of building time management skills, being an athlete helps build a tolerance and understanding for difficult situations.

“In regards to athletically, it is teaching them a lot of different skills like being mentally strong when adversity comes into play,” said Coach Kuffel.

It is important to be prepared for hard things that will happen in life, and although it may be a difficult lesson to learn, it is vital to everyday life.

Athletes play sports for themselves, simply because they love the game, and because they want to make their community proud. Sports provide so many different opportunities such as the ability to gain a scholarship for college, or later on playing professional sports for a living. Additionally, sports build friendships that will last forever, and teach values and morals that can be learned nowhere else but on the field. The athletes every effort to win displays their hard work and determination. Overall, it is amazing to see why athletes play sports.

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Why do athletes love the game?