Stereotypes Don’t Determine Success In Sports


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Alyssa Blair, Editor-in-Chief

We’re all familiar with the stereotypes put out into society today. Influenced heavily through the media, these biased images have seeped into every aspect of our world, particularly in the sports community. With sports at the center of entertainment, many of these stereotypes can be found among sports fans about what they believe is required of an athlete to be successful. Many of them lie among the body types and physicalities of an athlete. Often times, height will be associated with a successful basketball players. Broad shoulders and a long torso are the go-to image for swimmers. Football players are believed to be muscular and overall big guys. While stereotypes often do stem from somewhere, times are changing and most often they’re wrong.

“Often, volleyball is perceived as a sport for tall athletes. In reality, there is a spot in the sport for every body type. Every position requires different skills and abilities and athletes who develop those talents will be successful,” said both girls and boys varsity volleyball Coach Barnicle. Sometimes it’s even the athletes who put these images in their heads. “I think that many of these effects are self inflicted in the mind of the athlete before they give it a chance,” said varsity football Coach Labonte. The way to combat these stereotypes and avoid the negativity is to remember what the body of these athletes is capable of. Remember that despite not fitting society’s definition of what someone should look like, your body can withstand more than the average person.

The strength of athletes is immense, and we as a society should teach athletes to take pride in how they look. Instead of telling females that their muscles are unattractive and telling males they need to be taller, they should be taught what they can achieve with the bodies they have. The secret to becoming successful in a sport, no matter if you fit stereotypes or not, is to be tenacious, work hard, and remember why you want to do good in that sport.

“There are really three body types for any successful runner- they are somebody, anybody, and everybody who has put in the time and effort to run their best and cross that finish line,” said girls varsity track Coach Griffin. “If you have a passion for a sport and work hard to improve you can be a successful member of any team. Dedication and Sacrifice are much more important than body type,” added Coach Labonte. Success in sports is based on nothing more than how much determination and drive an athlete has. No action speaks louder and shuts down body shamers faster than a successful performance from an athlete that they underestimated just because of the way they looked.