Switching Sports


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Paul Madison, Writer

Everyone knows starting a new sport is not always easy, but what about switching from a sport you played your whole childhood to a sport you know nothing about? Your habits from the sport you played most of your life stick with you and translate to the next sport, sometimes taking a while to break.


Through personal experience, I can say it is very hard. I signed up for baseball as soon as I could, so I have been playing since I was five, and it has been a total of twelve years, with most of those years having more than one season. The habits I have picked up from all these years of baseball still stick with me even when I try to break them, but the lessons won’t be untaught. Trying to break these habits for track is very difficult and still affects how I throw.


The reason I switched from baseball to track is because of a surgery I got which would affect my shoulder and when I would be able to play baseball again. Nothing else really convinced me I should switch sports but I knew I at least wanted to do something in the spring to stay active.


When it comes to what I will do next year I am not quite sure yet. I could stick to learning track or I could go back to a sport that got a new coach who doesn’t know me. The main reason I think it would be difficult to go back to baseball is because the new coach is already building a connection with his team this year and missing my junior year would affect my chances of getting playing time. 


Other Student Opinions

Pentucket sophomore Emily Bethmann switched from gymnastics to take time to focus more on volleyball and track. Bethmann mentioned gymnastics was very different from track and volleyball and hard to learn those new sports, but “after a while it got easier and I was able to create new habits,” she said. Bathmann did gymnastics for ten years, so when asked if she ever thought about switching back it was not a surprise to hear her say she has thought about it.


Pentucket senior Jack Fahey played lacrosse for three years but ended up switching to running in cross country and track. When it came to any habits, Fahey mentioned there were not any habits to break since lacrosse never “impacted my running.” When asked if he ever thought about switching back to lacrosse he simply said no. 


When Pentucket Junior Kaylie Dalgar was asked what sports she switched from, she said she went from basketball to indoor track her junior year and does not regret the decision. She said it was, “one of the best decisions i’ve ever made” and she “should have switched to indoor track sooner.” Dalgar played basketball since first grade and started running in seventh grade. The main reason she switched sports was because basketball took time away from running and she plans to go D1 in college.


Pentucket Sophomore Mason Skinner played baseball for five years, took a break, and played his freshman year in high school. His sophomore year he switched to lacrosse. It did not take him much time to adjust to lacrosse. He does not regret switching and finds lacrosse “much more fun than baseball,”he said. The reason he switched sports was because lacrosse looked like it had a faster pace than baseball and said “I don’t think I will ever switch back.”


When asked about his opinion, Pentucket athletic director Dan Thornton said, “Students should choose a sport they want to play and just have fun.” He said this because a lot of students will stick with a sport they do not enjoy because they have played a sport for so long.  He mentioned that in high school specifically, students should explore options in sports and try new things. He has seen students who have never played a new sport excel. Thornton specifically mentioned Travis Bounsy, who is now a football and lacrosse coach at Pentucket. Thornton said Bounsy never played football but started his senior year and excelled in it, starting on both offense and defense.


Everyone has their own experience switching sports and have different reasons for it. In high school it is okay to switch, at that point one sport is not your whole life. Students should go out and try new things whether that be a new sport or just an off season for a change. High school is time to try new things, and there is no better time than the present to do so.