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The Benefits of Playing Sports at a Young Age

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The Benefits of Playing Sports at a Young Age

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BY MIKE RYAN

It’s early morning, the sun is just starting to rise into the sky, the morning dew lines the grass, a school bus arrives in front of you. Along with all of your teammates, coaches, and equipment you pile onto the bus getting ready to embark on a journey, a journey to a field to play the game that you love.

A love that often times started when you were young, learning to play a sport that your coaches and parents taught you. Often starting in elementary school by joining the sports programs for the school that they are enrolled in.

STITH’S TEAM WINNING A BASEBALL TOURNAMENT LAST SUMMER. (PHOTO BY STITH)

Zach Stith started playing t-ball when he was five, eventually picking basketball and soccer at the age of seven. He was pushed into sports by his parents and hasn’t stopped since starting. As a current junior Stith said, “I started playing when I was younger and never wanted to stop after.”

Joe Elkahla started playing tennis because of his grandmother starting when he was seven and continuing to play today. “I love playing tennis because it’s a very competitive sport,” said Elkahla.

“I find soccer and baseball the most fun because there is lots of action. I love pitching for baseball and the good exercise for soccer,” said Stith. Stith says that sports taught him a good work ethic which helps him every day.

Elkahla talked about how tennis being a single person sport helped him because he had to rely on himself to win and if he lost it encouraged him to be better. “It’s what pushes me to go further and become better at the sport.” Last season Elkahla was one game away from districts and lost. “Even though it was heartbreaking to come so close, it’s going to push me in the future to become better,” he said.

One thing Elkahla and Stith agreed on was playing sports when they were young benefited them tremendously because it taught them different skills that they use today, like work ethic and that practice makes perfect. Along with making lifelong friends, they were able to develop good exercise routines. For soccer and baseball, Stith is often in the weight room trying to get better and stronger to succeed at the sport he loves. Stith talked about the countless hours he puts in during the offseason to become a better hitter and pitcher.

Stith says, “It’s all worth it at the end of the day, all that work helps me be the best player I can be at the end of the day.”

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