09 Jan

Students Learning Lessons and Finding their passions through sports

From the Summit Sierra High School campus in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, you can see the stadiums where the Seahawks and Mariners play. A short walk from Summit Olympus High School in Tacoma is the Tacoma Dome where high school students and their families across Washington state gather to watch state championship games in sports like football and basketball.

Sports are a big part of what make Tacoma and Seattle great. We watch them, we play them, and we cheer loud and proud for them. Along with bringing us together, sports can bring communities together. Sports can also teach life lessons such as hard work, goal-setting, and how to be effective in a team – things the faculty at Sierra, Olympus and Atlas teach to students every day.

The sports teams at Summit teams are just like teams at any other public school in Seattle or Tacoma. Our teams play other school’s in the area, are a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association member, have practices and coaches, play their home games at a local gym, have tryouts and uniforms. Each Summit school in Washington has or will add this year a boys and girls basketball, volleyball and soccer teams.

“Sports teaches students respect, responsibility and accountability,” said Chris Nelson, athletic director at Summit Olympus High School. “These are the things, along with what students learn in the classroom that will help them have success later on in college, life and in the workforce.”

Athletic and other extracurricular activities also give students opportunities to pursue their passions and deepen relationships and connections with other students and the community, build character and become well-rounded people. Sports are helping contribute to the school culture and pride in our schools in Seattle and Tacoma.

At Olympus, students must also be committed to their teammates, sportsmanship and keep up their grade point average. If they need help, Chris is there to give the student athletes feedback to help them achieve their athletic and academic goals and be a thoughtful, contributing members of the community. Chris has helped many student athletes achieve their college athletic goals. He’s looking forward to helping Summit’s students do the same.

Chris exclaimed, “the greatest feelings as a coach, teacher or mentor is watching the student athlete develop, grow and mature into a young adult right before your eyes.”

The Olympus basketball team was also the first students to join the chess club. Chess teaches students many of the same things as basketball, but also critical, creative and strategic thinking, skills students use in the classroom.

At the end of each sports season the faculty gets to test their skills against the students in a friendly faculty vs. students game. It’s a friendly, competitive game for the faculty and students to bond over sports and celebrate their accomplishments during the school year. It’s also a time for the students to reflect on the relationships they’ve built and how their coaches and teachers encouraged them to be better every day.

What was your favorite sport at school? What’s the most valuable lesson you learned from your teammates and coaches? Tell us in the comments below.

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