Students Turn to Club Sports for Prep

Ian Criman, Editorials Editor


Instead of participating in athletics the traditional way, some athletes such as senior Skylar Holloway have elected to play in an intensive, club level training program for tennis.

“The program I’m in has really developed my game and mind over the years so I can be better prepared for the next level,” Holloway said. “When I played in high school, my coaches pushed me but it was for different reasons. In the individual, club level that I’m doing it’s on a National level.”

Holloway said there are numerous tournaments that she participates in, and that is how she was noticed by the future college she will be attending next fall, LSU.

“During the summer, there are super national tournaments that I go to where coaches fly out and watch,” Holloway said. “Coaches contact you if they’re interested.”

Holloway said the entire process is extremely stressful, because there are so many facets where you have to present yourself in a positive light.

“You have to look good during those tournaments and look presentable so coaches notice you,” Holloway said. “In order to be recruited, you have to be on top of your game so it’s a very challenging and pressure-packed environment.”

Holloway played for Robinson her freshman year, but decided to pursue a more individual level of training in her Sophomore year.

“I do miss playing in high school, it really wasn’t as stressful for me and I was able to simply enjoy the game more,” Holloway said.

Senior Ben Ferrill plays on the U-18 team for D.C. United.

“The atmosphere there is pretty crazy, there are several players on my team that are going pro so it’s a very pressure-packed environment,” Ferrill said. “It definitely makes you think faster and play faster, and there’s just more pressure.”

Ferrill said the high school team does not have as much pressure and is a lot less stressful.

“I found the high school team a lot more enjoyable, but I think my game has really improved from my experience on the club team.”

Senior swimmer Kathleen Dodson decided to participate in her club team, the National Capital Swim Club, full time this year instead of swimming for her high school team.

“I decided to set a lot of goals for myself this year, and in order to reach them, I wanted to do club full time with no distractions,” Dodson said.

Dodson said that in order to do well with training, a swimmer should be close with teammates.  This makes practicing easier.

“I swim 21 hours a week, and I’m training with everyone on my team during those hours,” Dodson said. “If you don’t get a lot with people on the team, practices aren’t fun at all.”

Dodson said the environment on her team is a lot more intense than high school, and she is more focused.

Dodson said, “Club is on a different level, and I think I’ve really improved a lot this year.”