Michigan weather teaches athletes how to improvise, adapt, and overcome


The weather has been known to have a large impact on one’s mood, performance, and even lifestyle, and that is no different from the outdoor sports here at Forest Hills Central. With fickle Michigan weather, many athletes have to deal with the consequences of the inconsistency of the outdoors. 

Out of the thirty-seven male and female varsity sports offered at FHC, twenty-three of those are played outdoors. That is over sixty percent of the teams that are impacted by weather conditions. This means that the majority of the players and coaches at FHC have to worry about how practices or games will be affected by the elements. Of the many of the different conditions that these individuals have to endure, the most common one would be rain. 

“Depending on how bad it is,” junior Zariah Knuff, a player on the girls varsity soccer team, “we have to end the practice or move indoors to avoid bad conditions.”

These conditions not only have a heavy influence on practices but also on an athlete’s performance as well. A prime example of this would be the only outdoor winter sport here at Forest Hills Central: the ski team. One athlete that was able to express the stresses of what the weather can truly add to an athlete would be Molly O’Meara, one of the captains of the FHC ski team. She emphasized this when she said, “For ski, if the weather is too warm, like this year, we cannot practice on snow or with gates. We also cannot race until later in the season.”

Without gates, a skier is not able to practice and perfect how he or she is able to perform in a race which can lead to many skiers not being able to showcase their best performances in races and even championships that occur at the end of that season. 

Although bad weather conditions can have many negative effects on athletes, there also are some positives that have come out of these conditions as well. Many are learning how to improve their skills even when circumstances work in their favor.

“I’ve learned to be flexible about when and where practices are,” Molly said. “I’ve learned to also practice on my own if we don’t get enough snow time.” 

Not only are these athletes learning how to improve their performances but bettering themselves as an individual as well. They’re able to take away these lessons and apply them to their everyday lives like embracing everything that comes their way and taking the most out of that situation. They are also learning how to better prepare themselves for any circumstances that may occur.

“I now always carry a coat in my bag,” Zariah said, “along with hand warmers and a portable fan while also keeping all of my equipment organized as well.” 

Weather conditions here at Forest Hills Central have always had a large impact on sports, whether that be learning how to run in the blazing heat or having to quickly stop all activity as you take cover when a thunderstorm quickly rolls in. The lessons learned as athletes are solutions applied as everyday citizens of society. They are learning that everything cannot always go the way they want, but it’s a matter of learning how to deal with and overcome the situation that has been handed to you because in life we sometimes need to improvise, adapt, and overcome.