Athletics vs. senior spring break dilemma

Jacob Harris '21, Editor-in-Chief of Pulse

Each year, winter and spring senior athletes experience the possibility of missing their senior spring break due to their sports. For winter, the chance of making a playoff run extends into the break, and for spring, the obligation to stay home for practices and games over spring break. Every coach has a different policy, and every player is aware of the policy before their seasons even start for the most part. However, many student athletes prioritize the trips to warm weather over their high school sports teams.

In the spring, sports such as baseball require athletes to stay home for spring break and attend practices/games, with a penalty if you choose not to do so. Leaving for a trip on this occasion isn’t a great showing to your team, but if a player early in the season willingly accepts the penalty for missing non-essential games then that is their loss. It is never a good look to abandon your team in any circumstance, but I can see how players may think this decision is acceptable.

There was, however, a lot of buzz around athletes leaving during playoff time of winter sports for Florida or Mexico to meet their friends on spring break. I couldn’t really fathom making this decision honestly, especially when you have already gotten fairly deep into the postseason. There’s so many things that are negatively impacted due to a decision like this, but at the very top of the list is the abandonment felt by teammates and coaches that stuck around the whole year to try and compete for championships.

Now, senior spring break is something every senior looks forward to, I get that. But the way I look at it is, you’ll always have the opportunity to go on a trip with friends. Every year there are three months off of school completely in the summer that permits even longer vacations and at a time in which nobody has schooling to worry about. What won’t always be there is high school sports. You’re not going to get another chance to compete for a championship with teammates and coaches that you’ve formed relationships with over four long years. I can understand that people may not be too interested in the sport they happen to play and don’t really care too much about winning or losing, everyone has their own interests. But if that’s the case, and you know that you won’t be sticking around when it counts, then my advice would be to not play. When it comes down to it and you know you won’t be there for your team, then in my opinion it’s just not a good idea to be a member of the team. I don’t think any teammate or coach can justifiably be angry about a kid that just doesn’t have the interest or dedication to a sport and would rather be doing other things.

To any high school athlete, my advice is simple: play your season, in its entirety, or don’t play it at all. You’ll never get the team experiences back that you miss, and I promise you there will be warm weather down south every single year for the foreseeable future.