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  • Writer's pictureKAIT BEDELL & HARLEY LACARDO

Are DIII sports worth playing?

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

By Kait Bedell

Yes: Division III is the runt of the litter. We pay for most of our own gear. We aren’t offered as many resources as other divisions. We don’t go on any fancy trips, we fundraise all of our money ourselves, and we share our locker rooms with other teams. It’s exhausting, it’s time-consuming, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Playing lacrosse and field hockey at a Division III school has allowed me to meet some of my favorite people in the world while also pursuing both of the sports I love. For me, athletics is an outlet. Having the space to get out all of your stress and competitive nature is so important. If I have a bad day, I get to take it out on the field. Even when I’m not in the mood to go to practice, I always walk away feeling better after.

College athletics teaches you the discipline and work ethic that you will need for the rest of your life. Not every day is going to be perfect, but the act of showing up and being responsible every day is an important life skill that everybody should come out of college with. Athletics teaches you how to manage your time, hold yourself accountable, and collaborate well with others. In addition to the life skills Division III athletics sets you up with, it also enables athletes to make many lifelong connections. The bond that you form with teammates and coaches is long-lasting and helps to grow your network for future opportunities. Being on a team is having a support group twenty-four-seven, and always having a table to sit at in the dining hall. Having twenty built-in best friends is the kind of support I hope everybody can find in their lifetime.

Aside from all the clear benefits of playing Division III sports, the most special part about the division is the raw passion. All of the athletes in Division III are there out of pure love for the game. There are no scholarships on the line. Nobody is depending on the sports to pay for college, and nothing is forcing you to be there. Although there can be pressure with any athletics team, Division III allows individuals to showcase their talent without it being a full-time job, which is something the other divisions don’t offer.

Graphic by Caelen Watson

By Harley LaCardo

No:As someone who grew up playing competitive, I can understand why others would keep it going into college no matter the level. But college is a time when students should be focusing on their future careers, and the skills needed to achieve that. As a DIII athlete, there is no chance you will be making it to the major leagues, so why put all your effort into something that isn't going to benefit your future? Many athletes are unable to balance school, sports, internships, and jobs, and in many cases that leads to a lacking effort in one of these categories.

Although being a DIII athlete is nowhere near the amount of work it takes to be a DI athlete, it still consumes so much of your time. That makes it hard to balance the heavy workload that college brings, and to many coming to college is a big adjustment. This is the first time for many of us that we will be living almost independently. You have to learn to be your own boss and keep your priorities straight. I believe that athletes get lost in their sport and as a result, their life becomes unbalanced. Grades may lack, or they might not get an internship when they are supposed to.

The best decision I ever made was quitting my sport. Attending a DIII school, I felt there was no reason to continue playing because I knew it wouldn’t carry into my future. I was able to focus more on my grades, jobs, clubs, and growing my social circle. I gained experience in jobs I wouldn’t have been able to do if I was still doing my sport, and with that experience, I can now add it to my resume which will help me in my future endeavors.

Some may disagree with me and say it's worth it because they are able to balance everything and make it work for them. But overall, even if you can balance it all, being a DIII athlete isn’t doing anything beneficial for you, other than giving you a group of friends for a couple of years until everyone continues on with their life, jobs, and families.

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