The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

How Athletes Should Deal with Club and School Sports

Many athletes who play a sport for school also play on a club team. Often this poses a conflict between player and coach. If students cannot make a compromise between the two, they are forced to prioritize which is more important. So the question is, is it beneficial for an athlete to play on club and sport teams simultaneously?

League rules prohibit players from competing in the same club and school sport, at the same time. However, they are allowed to practice with their club for different sports.

As a member of both the school’s cross country team and a club soccer team during his freshman year, junior Sean McLoughlin was able to participate on both teams. Sean made improvements in soccer by participating in both sports, as this cross-training made him more fit and improved his endurance.

“Even though both sports coincided, my cross country coach let me be a part of both teams,” Sean said. “They went well together, and I ended up benefiting from both.”

Story continues below advertisement

If two sports do not coincide well together, playing them at the same time can be detrimental to an athlete’s performance. For junior Ally Bakos, balancing high school water polo and club softball hindered her abilities. After having to miss weekend water polo practices for tournaments, she realized that she wasn’t excelling in either sport, so she chose to give up softball. Ally also played club water polo and swam for the school during the spring, and both sports proved too taxing to be done at the same time. Ally would miss weekend conditioning for swimming to save energy for water polo practice. She decided to focus on water polo.

“I finally was able to relax and enjoy trying to become the best that I could, which has ultimately made me a much better player,” Ally said. “Never forget the purpose of playing a sport, which is to have fun doing what you love.”

What it comes down to is how competitive each team is. If the high school team is not improving the student as an athlete, then the player chooses what satisfies him or her. This is the case for many experienced players who are part of a team that is new or has few players of the same caliber.

Playing on two different teams at the same time exposes athletes to different coaching while also allowing them to develop relationships with new players. If students decide to continue playing the sport during college, these different coaching and playing environments allow the players to better assimilate into their college teams. They are forced to change their playing intensity to match a variety of skill levels. For players whose club team is more competitive than the school team, they see playing for the school as an opportunity to be exposed to the different levels of competition, which will also be useful for college.

Senior Lucas Champenois, goalie for the boys soccer team, plays club soccer for most of the year. Lucas said his club practices prepare him more for college than those of the school.

“But high school soccer helps too because it’s different,” Lucas said. “I get to see different teams and players, so playing a lot and seeing different things help build experience.”

There will be instances where club and team sports coincide. However, coaches of school teams, not the players, decide whether practice is mandatory or not. If coaches see that club practice is not interfering with individual school sports like track, they can let players slide.

It’s up to the player to understand themselves physically and make the decision to do both based on their physical capability. Simultaneously playing on two teams can take up a lot of time and energy but can also hone a player’s skills. If scheduling conflicts do occur between both teams, students need to make sure their position on the team is not at stake.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Talon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *