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The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

School Sports over Club Sports

A school swim competition at The Village High School Natatorium, George Masters diving with Charlie Paine in the water touching the wall.

Participating in high school athletics is extremely beneficial, but is it as beneficial as club athletics? Both school and club athletic participation are beneficial; they both hold significance in the eyes of universities, provide a fun and friendly atmosphere and nourish growth and challenge. However, the distinctions between high schools, public and private, can impact the desire to participate in school or club sports. With the understanding that school and club participation can differ from each other, which should an athlete prioritize, potentially missing out on the other?

As a sophomore student-athlete representing The Village School and participating in USA Swimming at the DADs club in Houston, Texas, I am constantly stuck with the decision of whether to prioritize my DAD’s participation or school participation. While club participation often offers faster times and has better competition, I’ve questioned whether this prioritization aligns with my long-term goals. Considering the potential lack of recognition and team encouragement club achievements provide, I find myself wondering if school athletics holds a superior environment.

When it comes to choosing between club and school participation, high school students seem to lean towards school participation. “I definitely prefer high school participation, as it is faster with better competitors while hosting the same schedule that club competitions would provide, with preliminaries and finals,” said Jake Baker, sophomore and swimmer at 6A UIL private school Strake Jesuit, and DADs club swimmer. “Clubs are better to progress in speed, but when it comes down to participation, in high school it is faster and holds a better, more fun atmosphere.” Baker said.

As highlighted by NCSA sports, about 85% of college athletes participated in clubs before university. This statistic highlights the significance of club participation in the college recruitment process. University recruiters often go to club competitions due to the larger number of athletes, a more diverse range of competitors and commonly higher levels of competition. This preference shows that club participation is more recognized than public or private school participation.

The decision between school and club participation for student-athletes is based on personal wants and college recognition. Both offer development in an athlete’s sport and provide college recognition, however, the preference seems to lean towards school competitions due to their faster pace, superior competition and greater atmosphere. However, statistics show that club participation plays a greater role in college recruitment, showing the necessity for club participation. A balance between club and school is needed to have a successful student-athlete life.



High School vs Club Sports: Understanding the benefits. NCSA College Recruiting. (2024, January 24). https://www.ncsasports.org/recruiting/how-to-get-recruited/club-sports 

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George Masters
George Masters, Writer
George Christain Masters, Writer, I chose to join Journalism for the fit in my schedule as well as I thought I would be fun to do, and giving me something to keep my mind on out of school as journalism has out of school activities that I can do; swim meets, excuses for good food, and more. I like like swim, play video games, and eat food. Something fun about me is that I know how to play a multitude of games.

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