Student Athletes at City and Country

The main focus of City and Country School sports is to learn as opposed to win. While sports here are not the most competitive, they are still a big commitment.

In the fall, soccer and volleyball are offered, which are both two-day commitments. In the winter, students can play basketball, which is a two-day commitment for Xs-XIs and a three-day commitment for XIIs-XIIIs. In the spring, students can join running club, which is an optional one or two-day commitment, as well as ultimate frisbee. Sports are offered to Xs through the XIIIs. 

The workload increases drastically as students get older, and there is more homework, with the addition of the high school process. 

In the XIIIs, not only do students have to complete their assigned homework for the night, but most students had the addition of test preparation and tutor


homework. Because all XIIIs were in the midst of the high school process in the Fall and Winter, there were some days where one had to go to a high school open house or interview. This took time, especially if it was far away from where they lived. By itself, this was already a good amount of work that needed to be completed in one day. Imagine that a student was also on a C&C sports team that required them to attend practices and games, sometimes in other boroughs. There were some nights when students we would get back at 7:00 and still have to eat dinner, shower and sometimes have a combined two plus hours of tutor homework and schoolwork.

The social environment of City and Country sports is different from most schools. “In C&C, a lot of sports we don’t take super seriously. For example, we do not have tryouts or cuts, and there is more room for having fun and strengthening friendships,” said Max Beyer, XIIIs. Since the sports are not only about winning at C&C, long seasons filled with games and practices are a way to bond with teammates and make friends 

Despite the addition of sports, teachers view athletes the same way as other students in terms of expectations for work quality. Student athletes at C&C are not treated differently by their peers, compared to other schools where a star athlete might be more popular. Some student athletes at other schools are focused on always winning and being competitive, both while playing and not. 

Student athletes at City and Country are different. The focus is more about acquiring common life skills such as learning the game and forming good relationships. Generally, student athletes at C&C are less competitive and do not have the pressure of fighting for a spot on the team. 

In addition to the social skills provided by City and Country’s athletic program, time management skills are learned. 

A disadvantage of City and Country’s laidback approach to athletics? Students might not value the grit and competitiveness that is required to be a successful team operating at a high level.  

By playing sports, student athletes tend to pick up on leadership and team building skills, since they know first-hand what playing as a team is like. This is a valuable attribute as it not only comes in handy during sports play, but also in the classroom if they are working with other classmates. 

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