Morning ASAs, Mourning Sleep

Jaime Morales Cobiella, Writer

Waking up in the morning is undoubtedly the toughest thing to do for the average crabby teenager. Many of us have been forced to wake up around six to seven in the morning to make it to school on time and not get an unexcused tardy. This is, of course, normal and it’s not as if students can do much about it.

Many students sign up for a sports ASA thinking that it will be a fun experience and a good interaction with others interested in the same area. However, when they’re told they have to attend practice at quarter to seven in the morning, it suddenly becomes much less appealing than before. Now usually, under normal circumstances, waking up is already hard, but imagine having to wake up at five in the morning to go to the one place that you would rather not go to when you’re barely awake.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, but you signed up for this…”. There is no student input in choosing a time for the ASA and many want to do the activity for the experience without being hindered by the timing. As a Y12 student said, “I’d rather stay after school twice a week than having to come at six in the morning on a Monday of all days”. Many students don’t live close to school; many live in places such as Morges or Vevey, making their journey to school so much longer. This can require waking up as early as half past five. This at times makes it incredibly difficult for many to get to school on time for their practice, due to awkward public transport schedules and not wanting to wake their parents up so early.

The initial waking up is horrible, but what does it feel like afterward? Another Y12 student expressed that “practice is nice, but after I feel sweaty and tired for the whole day”. Going through the day sweaty and miserable is already bad, but combine that with a test and you might as well slap us in the face.

Generally, you would think that for a successful practice you would have to have players showing up. However, Anjali Bhimani remarked that “half of the people don’t show up to our morning practices, so what’s the point of having them?” When you put the effort into waking up early, going to school, and playing a sport first thing in the morning, you would expect others in the team to make the same commitment, as you signed up for the same activity. When they don’t, it becomes a very unbalanced team environment as some are putting in much more effort than others.

In contrast, other students describe the experience as being more positive rather than negative. Some describe it as being “refreshing” or “a good way to wake up”. It’s never bad to start your day with some exercise either, but it really does depend on the person. For some, waking up and going for a run, for example, can be what sets them up for success for the rest of the day, as they get their blood pumping and wake their minds up. However, for others, it’s the perfect way to drain the energy from their bodies for the rest of the day.

You can believe what you will: morning practices are good or bad, but we need change. Whether you would come to a morning practice or not, it is evident that direct team expectations should be set. Morning or afternoon, a sport is a sport and a full team is required for dynamics to work. Shifting the practice times for sports into the afternoon would lead to an enormous increase in participation as there is no extra effort put into going to practice. You’re already at school so why not stay and have some fun? If making practices in the afternoon rather than in the morning is what helps, it is what the school should do to help students and teams improve as a whole.