Play with a pack of people or ride solo?

Rocky Gao, Staff Writer

The identity of every athlete is a result of many factors, one being whether their sport is an individual or team sport. An athlete is sculpted from the benefits and drawbacks of sports.

In team sports, the success of athletes depends on many variables including the well-being of teammates. Consequently, in team sports, an aspiration is shared among the team, guiding them to support each other. Junior Christopher Eng, a member of JV Boys Soccer, enjoys playing with his team.

“Team sports are great if you want to be surrounded by people with the same interests as you,” Eng said. 

Team sports athletes often draw motivation from their teammates during tough practices. This support has allowed Varsity Boys Cross Country and Track and Field senior Cory Stone to push himself harder.

“You get to build a great relationship with your teammates because you practice with them for a bunch of hours,” Stone said. “That helps you get through the workouts.”

However, factors prevent an athlete to control their success. Having to rely on teammates hurts as much as it helps. If an athlete fails to maintain the intensity, the team carries a burden. Without adequate teamwork, teams can fall short on their goals.

“I guess it’s a trade,” Eng said. “You get friends and support but there are demands.”

Individual sports simplify the arena because success and defeat depend on one athlete. These sports, including golf, wrestling and tennis at Northwood, clearly highlight improvement within individuals. Varsity Boys Swim captain senior Felix Zhu enjoys his sport because of how clearly his effort is displayed.

“Each second, or hundredth of a second, of improvement can be seen and reflected through our times at a meet,” Zhu said.

However, confidence can also flip into disappointment during tough competitions. The lack of teamwork risks isolating athletes. Because of the lack of interaction, athletes must demonstrate strong diligence.

“We tend to focus a lot more on ourselves that others, which may take away from team bonding,” Zhu said. “I believe even in individual sports, an athlete is nothing without a supportive team.”

With the arrival of Spring sports, fun at every corner awaits students. Ranging from intense groups to solitary pressure, challenges are waiting to shape future athletes. Students should discover the sports they enjoy and take advantage of those benefits, no matter what they are.