On the Ball

The differences between playing club and schooll sports

Teagan Lynch, Staff Writer

There is no place I would rather be than on the soccer field. It is my favorite thing to do, and I try to savor every moment I have on the field and with my team.

For those of us who really love the sport we play, one season is never enough. So, we split our playing time between two different types of programs: club and school.

I love the differences between these two because they provide me with two completely different but equally beneficial and fun experiences in my sport. 

Club sports are community based teams, while school sports are based out of, of course, the school that you go to.

Oftentimes, clubs are considered a higher level because of the much greater time spent playing and the cost of being a part of the team. Another very well known aspect of club sports is that you get to travel all over the country for competitions. 

An all-time favorite travel experience of mine was a trip my team took to Florida for a showcase. Over fifteen college coaches came to watch our games, which was absolutely exhilarating. Additionally, being able to hang out, go to the beach, and having meals with the team greatly helped to improve our team’s chemistry both on and off the field.

The long season is enjoyable for me as it allows more time for bonding with teammates and improving skills. 

High school, however, is a completely different style and atmosphere as its pace is much faster and  is more locally-based.

Since the season is squeezed into only 8 short weeks, once it begins there are no breaks. Practices are typically held every day after school, with about two to even three games per week.

This fast-paced environment is perfect because it makes the time spent playing with my team even more special. Within those short eight weeks, I see my friendships and relationships with my teammates take off and evolve into something much greater.

There’s something indescribably special about high school sports. Playing for and representing your school is an experience that you just don’t have for club sports.

One of the most memorable moments of my life happened playing high school soccer: the 2020-21 Class A Girls Soccer state finals. Seeing and hearing my classmates and friends cheering the team on made me feel connected and it pushed me to play even better. 

Since the season is so short, I feel that high school sports are a much bigger commitment during the course of time they are played.

However, the cost commitment is much higher for club teams. In fact, according to USA Today, fees can get up to about $2,500-5,000 per year.

Part of the reason I love playing both high school and club soccer is the amazing people I have met. I’ve formed connections and friendships with both people in my school and with people from other schools. 

From my experience, playing for both school and club teams is an amazing opportunity, especially for grade school students as we get to meet and connect with a diverse community of people.

Those who play both club and school sports may have their own opinions on which is better, but it is undeniable that both programs have their own advantages and disadvantages. For me, participating in both of these programs is a score!