Contact Sports? Yes or No?

Pro: Contact Sports are Worth the Risks

Baseball is called “America’s Pastime” so a lot of people must really love it. As a kid playing baseball I thought it was so slow and boring. There were never any real opportunities to run or be physical. When I was forced to play with the younger kids because I wasn’t good enough, I thought I was stuck playing a sport I didn’t like for the rest of my life, until I saw a sign on the street advertising lacrosse.

It was when I went to my first lacrosse practice that I knew sports could be interesting and fun. I could use my body to stop others from moving forward, and I was allowed to hit another person with a metal stick. My parents knew there were risks, they knew that I could get a concussion or get some bruises but that’s what the helmets and gloves were for.

Some people think contact sports should be totally eliminated because they believe that playing contact sports is barbaric brutalism comparable to new age gladiators. They believe that there are too many risks that lead to unnecessary injury.

As a kid, everything in life inherently has risks. Driving is a dangerous activity, but that’s why we put everyone behind the wheel with a trained adult before we put them behind the wheel by themselves. There is a risk, but driving opens up a whole new world of freedom and access to employment.

There is risk in every sport whether you are hitting people or not. You can’t just tell an athlete who wants to run cross country to run 10 miles on his first day, or the athlete will get shin splints and never come to another practice. You have to coach the student-athlete on proper technique, and gradually work up to 10 miles.

There are so many good reasons why people play sports. Some people love to run so they join the track team. Some people like to show off fast reflexes and hand-eye coordination so they join the tennis team. Other people just like to hit and show off their physicality. Without contact sports there wouldn’t be enough opportunities for people with different kinds of personalities.

Contact sports also give bigger people an opportunity to play sports. In sports like football there are offensive lineman that weigh in at 360 pounds and are well over 6 feet tall. That is not the ideal size of a long distance runner. Sports like football give people that aren’t built for running and jumping an opportunity to stay physically fit and learn how to properly use their bodies.

All sports create strong friendships that last after the season ends, but in my own personal experience contact sports create familial type bonds. When you are putting your body on the line to win a game and your teammates are doing the same, you truly get to share the pain of losing and the joy of winning.

So, yes contact sports can be dangerous, but there is no better feeling than waking up after a hard-fought victory to a bruise that shows your effort.