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Why LHS Should Abandon Before School Practices

Brandon Simberg, Staff Writer

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If you have ever played sports here at LHS, you probably know this feeling. Your alarm goes off at 5 a.m. — after you ponder your entire existence — you get up and get ready for that 5:45 practice.

Hopefully, a parent can drive you or if you are a senior, you can park in the lot, but for some underclassmen, they might have to park at Brainerd, which takes another 5-10 minutes to walk.

You groggily get through your morning sports commitment, hit the showers and take on the rest of your day. You feel pretty good after first period, but as the day moves on, you get more tired. By third period, you are having trouble keeping your eyes open.

The rest of the day, you are exhausted. You had a really important math lesson on matrices but couldn’t focus on it because you were so tired. That is the effect of a before-school practice

National studies show that at least eight hours of sleep is healthy for teenagers. I know during the school year with all the activities, that might not be possible every night, but to achieve a measly seven hours of sleep on the night of a before-school practice, one would have to go to bed at 10 p.m., which is doable but is quite early with homework and other commitments.

Sleep deprivation can lead to several issues, but a relevant one to school is that it makes it harder for students to retain information. Sports are obviously important but students are student-athletes, and student comes first. If a sport is going to negatively affect our learning and academics, then we should make adjustments so this doesn’t happen.

Lack of facility availability is the main reason for having a before-school practice, but there are ways to combat this issue. For example, the baseball team uses other facilities like Slammers in Lake Forest, and the Libertyville Sports Complex.

I understand that there is a lack of gym space availability with so many sports, but we have a main gym, a west gym, a field house with three courts, a cafeteria, and plenty of outside facilities, if need be. If I had to practice at 7 or 8 at night, I would much rather do that than the dreaded 5:45 a.m. practice.

Practicing for sports is crucial, but so is sleeping for teenagers. To benefit our mental health, before-school practices should be outlawed, or at least limited, at LHS.

 

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Why LHS Should Abandon Before School Practices