Are Club Sports Worth It?


Madison Forss, Staff Writer

What do most athletes do during the awkward time between high school sports and college sports? It’s hard for those athletes that are committed to maintain their skills post-high school. That’s where club sports come in. Although it’s a way for you to consistently practice your sport and not worry about getting rusty, there are a lot of different opinions about playing club for some. It’s no secret club takes a lot of time, money, and effort, which affects any athlete differently… is this worth it? Can you really get that rusty in a couple of months even though every motion is now muscle memory?

For some athletes, like Karson Brockway, a high school and club volleyball player, “club is a way to keep up with your sport so you aren’t rusty for either your next high school season or college season if you plan on playing in college. It’s not as time-consuming as high school sports in the practice aspect because typically you only practice a few times a week for club. But there are a lot of weekends that you spend out of state, playing 6-8 games over a 3 day period.”

What about the athletes that are committed? They’re still spending time and money on only a couple of months of club. These athletes are guaranteed a future in their sport, with having practices every day for months for their college sport, wouldn’t a couple of months of rest before starting be beneficial?

D1 commit Abby Edwards says, “I play club to stay at the same playing level so I don’t start college below everyone else when I get there because I know they’re all playing club as well. By skipping out on three months of playing, those skills I had before are just gonna be harder to build back. I know I’d feel unprepared if I went to college without consistently playing softball for a couple of months before. It can be exhausting, and a lot of money and time, but it’s worth it to not feel behind the other girls on my college team.”

Apart from the physical benefits, club is also the best, and sometimes only, way that an athlete can get recruited. Football is the only sport that recruiters prioritize high school over club. By playing club sports, college coaches can see film, watch and talk to you at out-of-state tournaments, and talk to your club coaches. Almost anyone can play high school sports, but when you dedicate time and effort to club, recruiters see that. High school sports are also not nearly competitive enough, nor showcase an athlete’s full potential, for a college coach to be interested. Apart from football, since things such as 7 v. 7’s aren’t looked at by college coaches, high school sports aren’t enough to get an athlete in the eyesight of a recruiter. By playing club, the chance of a college coach seeing, and pursuing, an athlete is significantly higher than an athlete that solely plays high school.

It’s no secret club is time-consuming, with spending many weekends out of state for tournaments or 3-4 hours a night at practice. However, it’s beneficial for athletes that are or aren’t committed. For the committed athletes,  club is a perfect way to keep up your skills, as well as physically and mentally prepare for the commitment that comes with college sports. As for the athletes that aren’t committed, club is a way for them to play their beloved sports for a few more months, especially if they don’t feel like high school was a good enough note to end on. No matter the future that athletes have in their sport, the time, money, and effort are worth it.