DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a high school athlete. I play soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the spring. At my high school, there are three separate sports seasons. Since I already play in two of those seasons, I am pretty busy.
The other day, my father told me I should take up another sport next winter to keep fit. As much as I love working out and playing for a team, I kind of like the idea of having an off-season. I would like that time just to hang out after school instead of going from practice to practice. What do you think would be best for me? Is there a way I can convince my dad to have the winter sports season off next year? -- Overworked Athlete, Salisbury, Maryland
DEAR OVERWORKED ATHLETE: Being involved in sports every season keeps you focused and occupied, which is probably on your father’s mind. Your argument that you just want to hang out after school will not likely come as a welcome option for him, as "hanging out" can sometimes lead to undesirable activities. That is not to say that you will find yourself in trouble, but having idle time is not ideal for everyone, especially students.
That said, I see the value in having some downtime. The argument you may want to present to your father is that you would like that one off-season to be able to have more time for homework and a little time to spend with your friends. In truth, you probably will be able to enjoy a bit more rest and devote more quality time to your schoolwork, which is always good.