A Head Start

Students reflect on playing sports from a young age

Nicole Albright, junior dancer for the Varsity Poms team, has been dancing since she was five years old. She believes that dancing from a young age has been beneficial towards her success in her dance career. 

 “I feel like starting [dance] at a young age you’re able to get down the basic points better [and] you can learn it over and over again. And once you master [that skill], then you can build up [skills] higher,” Albright said.

 For Albright, not only did dancing from a young age allow her to develop her skills, but it provided structure for her life, according to Lynn Albright, Nicole’s  mother

 “[Dancing provided] a lot of responsibility from a young age because [coaches] expect them to take care of their costumes, and be where they’re supposed to be on time on competition days. Early on in her life, kids at eight, nine years old maybe competing on their soccer team, don’t have that competition [Nicole] had where she was at an all day competition has [responsibilities] to take care of,” Lynn 


Albright believes that dancing from a young age was greatly due to the support from coaches, parents, and friends as well.

Personally, my coaches made a big impact in my life. Besides teaching all the [dance] skills, they always make sure to add in life lessons. [My coaches] have taught me life lessons that school doesn’t necessarily teach you,” Nicole Albright said.

From a young age, dance has provided Nicole a platform to learn, but also a way to learn  and grow, according to Lynn. 

[Nicole] knows the dedication that she needs to do in order to be successful. That came from a young age of starting dance, when [she] would go to competitions and had [coaches] that at her dance studio. The funny thing is that the coaches at the dance studio, winning was not the number one thing [to them]. It was learning dance, and it was learning not only how to, but some of the history of dance,” Lynn Albright said.

Dancing has been a big part of Albright’s life, according to Lynn. Dancing not only provided her skills, but also a relationship with her team.

“I’ve been dancing with a lot of the girls on the team since I was little so we already have a strong bond,” Nicole Albright said, “We’ve really grown up [together] and  have always been working towards achieving our goals and it’s really nice doing it all together” 

Albright’s training experience as a dancer parallels Colin Kula, sophomore baseball player, who has been playing baseball since he was seven years old. According to Kula, starting baseball young has provided structure for his life.

Starting [baseball] at a young age helped me [stay] determined as I was growing up, because it allowed me to focus my time on something with school,” Kula said, “also, in baseball you really have to be paying attention to every little thing that’s going on, which helped me have an eye for detail as I grew up,” Kula said. 

Learning a sport from a young age can allow athletes to grow, but also develop character.

“I think if I didn’t play baseball, it would probably change my personality more because baseball is a sport where you’re just sitting down and like watching things happen, and you really have to pay attention to all the little details,” Kula said.

Not only did playing baseball allow Khala to develop skills, but also provide motivation throughout his life.

“Playing baseball has kept me more motivated to do things that I wasn’t motivated to do before, and playing baseball all my life I learned a lot through all of the hardships,” Kula said.