Athletes Explained: The Motives That Drive Them


Photo by Katelyn Reidhead

Bingham’s swim team

Katelyn Reidhead, Staff Writer

Why in the world would people participate in sports, you may ask. The hours and hours of commitment and pain all lead to what? There are many reasons an athlete would put in all this effort: it is excellent for the body, it helps mental health, and the team makes it all worth it.

Training to be in peak performance is super helpful for when one has to do other physically exerting activities in daily life. When I work out, it feels good to be productive and feel like I pushed myself that day. 

“After hard sets, my body is so worked up and it makes me feel better because I know that I had a good practice that day,” says Nicole Henriquez, a Bingham student on the swim team.

The grind of working out in practice is so satisfying later when you have an athletic physique and all your muscles feel used. There are endorphins that are released when the body is recovering from a good workout, making you feel good.

As an athlete myself, sports help me destress because it takes me from my normal routine and makes me focus on what I’m doing and how my body is moving. Routines of working out or having practice can be a centering tool that can set all the excessive and stressful things aside for a moment.

“I’ve discovered that early morning runs and workouts can help clear my mind,” said Abby Sorensen, a Bingham student on the cross country and track team. “And when we’re in the thick of training, my mood throughout the day is much, much better.” 

Stress is released when you participate in sports because you have an outlet to ground you. When you take time to focus on how you feel and get some workouts going, it can help keep life from being too overwhelming. 

The team is the best part of playing sports. Supporting each other and cheering for teammates makes it fun. Growing close to several other people and becoming good friends makes all the training and pain worth it. 

“A team helps with more motivation because we’re all doing the set together, so the pain is mutual,” said Izzy Nielson, another Bingham student on the swim team.

We all are going through the same things, which draws us closer together. As a team, everyone is different, but we work together to have fun.

“While at practice, there is always something my teammates say that can make me laugh so hard, I can’t breathe,” says Henriquez.

Sometimes the team is the only thing that keeps me going to practice and working hard because we all support each other. The competitive nature we all have helps us progress together. 

“Your teammates are also motivation for your own improvement, even if they aren’t in the same race,” Peter Young, a Bingham student on the cross country team, said. “Everyone cheers everyone on.”

Overall, sports are loved by many. Athletes put in lots of work to be part of something. Sports draw us closer together, even when you’re not the one playing. Sports also have their benefits, namely: it is great for your body, it helps your mental health, and it is fun to be on a team.