Not Having Sports in Schools Has A Big Impact on Mental Health

As the 2020-21 K-12 Academic Year approaches, we’re talking feverishly abt things like: virtual, hybrid, in-person learning. The balance of the diff options are all-consuming.
I’ve been on forums where parents are fighting w parents, parents are fighting w teachers. Administrators are being targeted by everyone. It’s a cluster to say the least. Is there a right answer? I understand the rationale on all sides & for the purposes of this post, I’m not going to share strong opinions abt what’s right for each school.
Physical health is impt to consider, as is MH, childcare, the ability for parents to work if they can’t work virtually, etc. There are SO many factors, that I don’t envy those who have to make the decisions – it’s impossible to please everyone.
Likewise, there’s a ton of talk abt college sports, specifically. Some conferences have already declared they aren’t playing.  Some conferences are planning full steam ahead. Again, so many factors from physical to MH, draft status, revenues, off field player activities, etc.
But in all of this, here’s a topic that’s getting a little lost: sports & extracurriculars on the K-12 level. Makes sense it’s an afterthought bc schools need to focus on HOW they’re gonna even teach…but let me say this – sports & activities outside of school, need to be prioritized in some way, & soon.
Been staying at my cousins & I recently read his son’s school note abt “fall sports.” At first I was taken aback & didn’t understand. Not gonna be competing against other schools…only inter-school play w your own student athletes?? It felt meaningless in terms of competition, camaraderie, school pride.
But then it hit me. Ok, those things aren’t available right now, BUT, what’s the alternative? Growing up, my teammates & I went to school – excited FOR practices & games. We’d wear ties on game days. It was our purpose. It’s all we thought abt. It helped cement our strongest relationships. It kept us away from all day video games & TV. 
Even if it’s internal only, w your own schoolmates, what at first may seem meaningless, is actually very meaningful for physical AND MH. It’s needed!

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