Sports fosters sense of community, teamwork

Arjun Prabhakar '23, Associate Editor, Online

Going to a new school is a challenging experience for many students. They have to adapt to a whole new environment where they may be unfamiliar with the school’s cultures and traditions. This poses many challenges for students as they have to adjust to the new social norms and expectations while knowing very little of them. Oftentimes new students will experience anxiety, excess stress, and loneliness during this adaptation process. However, one of the things that helps students to adapt are extracurriculars. Extracurricular activities help students get involved more with the community and understand the different cultures that exist within it. For me, the extracurricular activities that helped me to adapt to the Greenhills community were the sports teams, specifically golf and tennis. 

When I came to Greenhills in 6th grade the shift from my elementary school to a rigorous middle school was difficult for me academically and socially. Almost all of the people I had seen every day for the last six years of my life, were no longer around. I only knew a few people in the grade because I had gone to elementary school with them. One of the aspects of Greenhills that helped me adapt to this new environment were the sports teams. The middle school tennis and track teams offered a place where I could be free of the stress of the academic and social atmosphere and focus on something I loved to do. They also helped me to become closer with some of my peers and become friends with people I am still friends with to this day.

Middle school tennis taught me a lot about the culture of Greenhills, but I didn’t truly understand it all until I made the varsity tennis team during my sophomore year. At the time we were in the middle of the pandemic and everyone was quarantined. During quarantine, it was hard for everyone to remain inside day after day with little to none human interactions with people other than your family. Despite school being solely online, I was able to play on the tennis team and see some of my friends. Having the opportunity to be a part of the tennis team allowed me to escape from quarantine and relieve some of the stress and anxiety from having to stay at home all the time. 

During this season, I learned a lot from the coaches and upperclassmen about the importance of leadership, selflessness, and always being there for those close to you. Even after a tough loss I always felt better from the encouragement of my teammates and never felt truly alone. The friendships and bonds created on the tennis team were always unconditional and independent of a player’s success. These values imparted to me by the coaches and upperclassmen helped me to better understand the culture at Greenhills and grow as a person to better the community. 

Another benefit to joining a sports team is that it allows you to create friendships and bonds with people whom you would otherwise not. If I had never joined the golf team or the tennis team, I would most likely have never become friends with people in other grades. Being on a sports team allows you to build special connections with others. You spend countless hours with them through the best wins and the worst losses, all while building a relationship where they can trust you to always have their back. This camaraderie creates a special kind of friendship that would not be possible unless you are a part of the team.  

The traditions and culture we learn from sports teams is an experience that not only helps us succeed in that sport but also in life. It helps you become a leader so that one day you can pass on the knowledge to someone else and help them understand what the Greenhills community truly is.