Whenever you make a commitment, you let go of something. John Locke’s “Second Treatise” states that entering into a contract restricts the individual’s rights, as the choice to make a pact binds him to its laws. Sacrifice plays a large role in the psychology behind collegiate sports, but it also bears relevance to every student.
For all the academically taxed students of UD, sometimes homework and reading are “sacrificed” for the sake of “refining the art of conversation and recreation” in the daily schedule. This issue of sacrifice is especially pertinent to the student athletes, as they usually have daily extracurricular obligations and opportunities. Between practices, gym time, meetings, team service projects and both home and away games, often the leisure, fun, or school time gets surrendered to sports.
Commonly, these issues balancing academia and sports are the most prominent conflict of a collegiate student athlete, but these issues do not encompass all the sacrifices. On every academic break, be it summer, fall, winter or spring, athletes from at least one of UD’s teams sacrifice part of their break for practice and gameplay.
This past winter break, the men’s basketball team met in California for games against Chapman and Whittier University on Dec. 27, just two days after Christmas, and began practice promptly after returning to Dallas. These are the types of sacrifices an athlete makes for the sport to which he or she commits.
It is difficult to forfeit any portion of your break, especially—as some UD athletes did—a sizable portion; the decision must come from a selfless desire to help the common good over your own interests.
You give up time with your family and your friends at home so that you can work on building the team communication, skills and cohesion that you want for the oncoming season. There is more than what one might commonly think of as the freedoms you lose when committing to a sport, which is why the decision to play collegiate sports is such a weighty and admirable one.
Locke concludes that man restricts his rights in entering into a contract, but never once does he admonish doing so. In fact, he is in favor of entering such contracts, as it promotes the good of the whole of society. The individual must have the prudence to see the good of the team over his or her own personal good, and the selflessness to choose it.