The Challenges of Being a Swing Player

The Challenges of Being a Swing Player

Madeleine Lussier, Writer

Between practices, games, and pasta parties, being a swing player for JV and the Freshman team is already challenging, but what team are swing players actually on?

For the readers who may not know, a swing player is an athlete who practices with a higher level team, but then plays with a lower level team. Although they’re technically on two teams, many players feel like they’re team-less because they either practice or play with a team, but never both which makes them feel like an outsider.

When asking a swing player what team they’re on, expect either a complicated answer or hesitation before responding. The athletes attend pasta parties for the team they play games for, but they get invited to events for both teams and are on group chats for the two teams as well. Balancing one team is hard, but balancing two teams is an even greater challenge due to the time commitment and the struggle to fit in.

Freshman Samantha Powderly played for both JV and the Freshman team for the first half of the fall soccer season. When asked whether she liked or disliked being a swing player, she said that she dislikes being a swing player because she doesn’t feel like she’s truly part of a team. However, she likes being a swing player because it is a great opportunity to be with higher competition and it gives her the chance to move up, which she did.

There are moments when swing players genuinely feel like part of the team, like when they’re on the sidelines cheering on their teammates and belting out song lyrics on the bus. An athlete who is playing on both JV and Freshman will normally have at least a few kids in their grade on both teams. This helps when they need a partner to pass with for drills or just someone to make them feel like they are not alone.

Although Junior Varsity and Freshman soccer are only one level apart there are many differences in both the style and difficulty of play. On the Freshman team practices are more laid back, foot skills can be very helpful, but they aren’t necessary. Also, the team is made up of mostly freshman, but depending on the school there could be 7th and 8th graders on the team. JV soccer requires you to have good foot skills, practices are more intense, and the team is made up of mostly sophomores and some juniors and freshmen.

Being a swing player requires lots of hard work but, especially in sports, hard work pays off.