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The Benefits of Playing Both High School and Club Sports

By Nelson Gord, NCSA Team Edition, 10/18/18, 12:00PM CDT

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Competing on a high school team, even for club-focused athletes, offers a lot of positives

While most standout athletes are used to being the best player on their team throughout high school, in college they may spend years in a bench role before winning a starting spot.

For many sports, club teams have become the primary focus for student-athletes looking to get recruited by a college team.

However, there are still many benefits to be had from competing on a high school team, even for club-focused sports. Coaches can help communicate these points to athletes and families to help them enjoy a more well-rounded experience.

PLAYING HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS IS MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE

Sure, there will be costs, but for some sports, this basically comes down to shoes and shorts. This is usually a stark contrast to club sports, which require fees, equipment and expenses for travel.

ATHLETES AND PARENTS HAVE MORE FREE TIME

Playing club sports almost always entails a bigger time commitment than high school sports, starting with the fact that athletes have to commute to practice instead of just walking to the gym after class. Add in travel for the big tournaments and events, and things become a lot more involved than just hopping on a school bus for away games.

ATHLETES HAVE TO LEARN TO PLAY WITH THE HAND THEY ARE DEALT

While most club teams are generally stocked with talented players, high school teams tend to be more of a dice roll. Sometimes the standout athlete has to take a bigger role on the team, and it may even lead them to play out of position if the team is undersized. This can be an excellent opportunity to round out skills and gain valuable experience.

GAMES CAN HAVE MORE MEANING

Club teams can rack up the game count at tournaments, which can be great for reps and development. However, playing fewer games for a high school team can mean each competition carries more weight, especially when it’s easier for relatives and friends to attend and cheer on athletes.

Qualifying for the playoffs, winning a district title or even playing for a state championship is a special experience.

THERE’S LESS PRESSURE TO PERFORM

Standout athletes will always want to play their best and perform to the extent of their abilities, but there’s definitely something less stressful about playing without college coaches constantly evaluating you at big club games and tournaments, as they often do. It’s easier for athletes to stay loose and have fun while playing.

While most standout athletes are used to being the best player on their team throughout high school, in college they may spend years in a bench role before winning a starting spot. That’s why it’s important to learn how to deal with situations that aren’t perfect.

High school sports can teach athletes valuable leadership skills, how to improve players around them and how to develop skills at a different position, among other things. By taking the right approach athletes can leverage their high school experience to help their college recruiting.

ABOUT NEXT COLLEGE STUDENT ATHLETE TEAM EDITION

NCSA Team Edition™ has quickly become the market-leading team recruiting platform because it recognizes and supports the crucial role club and high school coaches can play in the recruiting process. This free, easy-to-use software gives coaches an efficient way to monitor and guide their athlete’s recruiting efforts while giving athletes much-needed education and exposure with access to NCSA, world’s largest and most successful recruiting network. Every year, more than 35,000 college coaches across 34 sports use NCSA to find, evaluate, and recruit athletes for their teams. All club and high school coaches who want to help their athletes win at the recruiting game can start their free account now at www.ncsasports.org/team.

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