Every child at some point comes to a crossroads when they want to choose between playing sports or getting a job. As parents, it’s up to us to listen, offer advice, and guide.
Like my Dad used to say, “Son, you will be working for the rest of your life. Don’t miss out on creating high school memories and playing sports”. He was right, you will be working for the rest of your life. There will always be time to work. But you do not get another chance to go back and create memories. There is no should haves, would haves, or could have.
Memories in high school will never return. Once this phase passes, it will leave you with regret. The money you make as a teenager is nice. And, working will help you develop and define your work ethic and keep you out of trouble. However, you will always be making money. Your job will change for another as you get older and graduate high school and/or college.
Being A High School Athlete
Being a high school athlete is an important part of your life. Playing sports creates things greater than you can imagine. As you get older, you will learn that life is like a sport, and sports develop the qualities needed to succeed in life, academics, and career. Working a job won’t be able to offer you what sports can. Qualities like positivity, confidence, determination, creativity, perseverance developed from playing sports better equips you to play “life.” Playing sports instills and molds your life and personality with skills and qualities that are difficult to develop anywhere else. Therefore if you don’t have to work, play sports, have fun, and set yourself.
Sacrificing playing sports to work a part-time job does not offer the same development. It seems to have more of a downside than an upswing. First of all, the research says when in school, work no more than 12-hours a week. In the summertime, you can work more to about 20-hours. It showed that working more than 12 hours a week caused a decline in grades. Other research showed that high school kids are working too much. When High School Students make more money, they tend to show disinterest in sports and school, being more attracted to the dollars. I understand this. I was there too, and my parents were there to help me decide not to regret it.
If fortunate enough, making high school money is great because you don’t have many expenses. As you get older and live on your own, you now incur expenses. Understand that playing sports creates the characteristics and foundation needed to be successful in your academics and career. Your sports background will develop opportunities and will put you on top of the qualifiers list. For example, employers like to hire athletes because they are resilient, know how to win and lose, are team-oriented as well as leaders, and are highly motivated.
Sports = Success Later
Did you know that 95% of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies played college sports? And, 80% of Fortune 500 female executives played competitive sports. Also, 20 out of 31 women interviewed from, Fortunes 2017’s Most Powerful Women played competitive high school/ college sports. Those are very good and high statistics for athletes. Not playing sports and studying less will not lead to making more money, like the life development of sports and education will do. The jobs you work are menial, yet important. However, being an athlete will develop what is menial into skills that will ramify into a successful career and better financial opportunity—the things you do when young, path the way for your future.
The best way to look at this is by fulfilling both. Play sports and work a job with flexible hours; that makes you some money per week but leaves you time to practice, play and study as needed. There are many jobs out there that provide this type of work-format for student-athletes. Or, you can work on the weekends. I use to have games Saturday afternoons work Saturdays from 5 to 10. Then hang out with my friends. They did not get together till about 9 PM anyways.
Make sports and school a priority, and then see where you can fit work into your schedule. So, there are possibilities to work, socialize, practice, and play sports without making your life chaotic.
The Pros Of Playing Sports And Working
- You will gain work experience, not on a greater level. Still, it will show other employers that you can work well and have responsibility. It can assist in switching your jobs and give you references and credibility.
- It will help you start to think about your future. Just don’t think too far yet because your interest will change as you experience more. But, this can help you understand what you may want to do in the future.
- Summertime is usually the best time to work and save money if you are going to do it. Learn to be a lifeguard, camp counselor, etc. Working in the summer can help you also (teenagers) stay out of trouble.
- Making a smaller amount of money working fewer hours will teach you how to save, budget, and be responsible with your spending.
You never think about the future when you are younger. Indeed, this is one thing you need to ponder to understand how to reap the reward and not suffer consequences and regret. My advice is simple. Spend the most time you can playing sports, going to sports camps, socializing in high school, and being a part of extracurricular activities. All these things will teach, construct, and define your character, making a bright star shine even brighter.
High school is a very different and unique time to create memorable moments and have fun. Take advantage of these moments so you can reminisce and cherish them for the rest of your life and share those stories when you are older.
Would you rather be a part of a game-winning touchdown, scoring a game-winning goal or hitting a home run, or sitting behind a counter?