Cuts for all!

Cuts for all!

Flashing back to middle school or even early high school years, one memory becomes apparent: sports teams and cuts were nerve-racking. The ill-feelings you may still carry with you today may have come from your own experience or one of a close friend. I was cut from my eighth grade volleyball team and although it was not the end of the world, it still tainted my enjoyment of the sport, even when simply playing it recreationally. This leads to my question: Should cuts for school sports be mandatory for teams? The undeniable answer is sports at the high school level should create mandatory cuts for the benefit of the team’s success and the betterment of the player.

Though being cut from a team can sting, if you have more players than you need for a team, or some players just are not as good, then a spot should not be made for them on that team. Not only do players not always have the talent to be on a team, but sometimes they do not put forth the effort or drive into the practices as much as they should, which then leads to putting themselves in a position to becoming an easier explanation for a coach to eventually cutting them from the team.

Although some people cannot move on from the failure they feel in the aftermath of being cut, there are also quite a few success stories that emerge from people who took that experience and turned it into one of the best things that have ever happened to them. Mark Buehrle, was cut from his high school baseball team and went on to be a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. Michael Jordan and Carmelo Anthony were both cuts from their high school basketball team and went on to play at higher levels. Lionel Messi was cut from his soccer team as an eleven-year-old due to his height and went on to being one of the greatest players of his time. Because they did not let their embarrassment and disappointment stop them from moving forward, because they were willing to put in the work to improve themselves, they went on to do great things and become better players than the players who made the team they were cut from.

If every sport you played or tried out for let you be on the team regardless of skill level or work ethic that you displayed, you would not grow as a player. The only thing that would grow would be your ego. Understand that you will not always make a team. Knowing that you will not always be the best is good for the youth as a whole. It can create thick skin and a better opportunity to grow rather than becoming entitled.

Self-acceptance goes a long way. I wasn’t very good at volleyball during my eighth grade year, and in all honesty, I’m not very good at it now all of these years later. However, the decision to cut me did not define me, and I’m perfectly fine with the being the student who covers the sport instead of the student who plays it.