Quitting their Passion

Athletes speak on leaving their sports

Connor Parrish, Sports Editor

“Quit” is a strong word in the sports world. Studies have shown that many athletes eventually end up quitting the sport they have put hours of practice into. This could be for many reasons, such as not liking the coaching staff, wanting to pursue another sport, injuries, or personal reasons. According to a study done by Changing the Game Project, 70 percent of kids quit organized sports by the age of 13. 

Being a coach and seeing an athlete quit can be difficult. Brian Hancock, head Track and Field coach, said that he recognizes some students will quit Track and Field because there are over 150 athletes. 

“I recognize that each athlete on my team isn’t going to be an All-State track athlete and that is perfectly fine. I want every kid to have a great experience and learn to challenge themselves through the sport,” said Hancock. “My focus as a coach is to build athletes into great young men and women and if an athlete quits, I am less likely to affect that change, so I do everything I can to keep them with the team.”

Hancock added that even though students may decide to quit, he tries to understand where the student is coming from and making adjustments if it is needed. 

“I recognize that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that may cause an athlete to reach that decision. I have had the same message/process for every athlete that has quit my team. I first try to understand their situation and try to problem-solve with them ways in which quitting doesn’t have to be an option,” said Hancock. “If, in the end, they still feel quitting is the right decision, I let them know I still care about them, I am here for them if they need anything and I hope they give it a try next year.”

Battle offers a total of 19 sports throughout the school year, which means there will be several athletes that decide to quit for many reasons. Sydney Livingston, cheerleader, decided to quit cheer before her senior year, despite being an All-State cheerleader. In addition, her name has been added to the Wall of Honor. 

“I quit cheer because I knew that senior year was going to be rough, I had to make a lot of decisions and I wanted to work a lot to save money for college. Cheer is a huge time commitment,” Livingston said.

Despite quitting, Livingston said she has remained close to the team. 

“I’ll go pick up my coach’s babies from practice and still go to practices and support my girls,” Livingston said. 

Paige Magee, former girls basketball player, did not tryout for girls basketball this year and instead chose to do swim and dive. 

“I decided not to go out this year because it was the best decision for me personally, for my track career because last year during basketball season I developed my stress fractures in my left leg in the middle of my tibia,” said Magee. “[Swim and dive] is a better alternative to being in months of rehabilitation before track season.” 

Magee also added that she still keeps in touch with her coaches and teammates from basketball.    

Eventually, an athlete’s sports career will end, some sooner than others.