Athletes compete with their teammates to make themselves and each other better. For some of these athletes, this competition is in their blood.
Junior Kate Beck has been a women’s swim team member since her sophomore year. This year, she convinced her identical twin, Ella Beck, to join. During this year’s conference meet, the two ended up in the same heat for the 50-freestyle. Not only were they in the same heat, but there was only one lane separating them.
“I could see her when I breathed,” Ella said. While Ella did not get a personal record in that event, she said she “was close.”
This is just one example of the competitiveness that arises when competing against or partaking in a sport with a sibling.
Sophomore twins Kara Pierce and Anna Pierce are Varsity women’s basketball players. According to them, competition with one another can be both beneficial and harmful.
“(Competition) helps make us better because we’re trying harder. Like, if Kara’s getting more playing time than me, it makes me want to work harder so I can earn more playing time,” Anna said.
However, according to Kara, it can also get too intense at times.
“On the court, we end up barking at each other, almost. We just try to make sure each of us stays on it and does what we should, and it doesn’t always come out the best way, especially in game situations whenever we’re just trying to get it out,” Kara said.
Senior Jalen Purvey and junior Iziah Purvey are brothers on the Varsity men’s basketball team. While the Purveys are competitive off the court, being on a team together actually brings them closer.
“Off the court, we are more competitive,” Iziah said. “We like seeing who can do something better than each other. On the court, we really are both together. We think alike. We know what our strengths are and what we can do.”
For the Pierces, sharing a team with a sibling is nothing new. With the exception of one season, the two have never been on separate teams, so they are familiar with the benefits that come with that.
“You already have someone you know on the team,” Anna said. “Like, if you’re just joining a new team, you don’t have to worry about social anxiety, making friends, as much because you’ve already got someone you know.”
According to Kara, these benefits extend to the court as well.
“Siblings, like, you know them, so it’s easier to trust them more. Like, I trust Anna to bring up the ball more than anyone else on the team, and I know what her tendencies are as a player and as a person, so I can better approach how to help her and how to play with her rather than other people whom I haven’t played with for a while,” Kara said.
The Becks have also experienced the benefits of sharing a team with a sibling.
“I think it’s a lot of fun because you have something to talk about. Sometimes with siblings, you always hangout, but you don’t have anything to talk about. If you play the same sport, you talk about sport-related stuff out of school,” Kate said.
Before high school, the Purveys had never been on a basketball team together. However, they still made sure to compete with each other.
“We grew up around all basketball players, so it’s like, you gotta keep it going in the family, and try to be the best out of the family. I just want to be the best out of the family overall,” Iziah said.
The Purveys have now spent three years on Varsity together.
“Since we grew up with each other and knew what we were capable of, like, we just know when and where we can score and be effective on the court,” Jalen said.
All three pairs noted that there are both downsides and benefits to sharing a team with a sibling, but they all agreed that the positives outweigh the negatives.
“Even if you aren’t enjoying the sport as much, or you aren’t doing as well as you’d hoped, there’s always someone to pick you up or someone who can be like, “hey, come on let’s work harder,” Kara said.
“It’s definitely worth it,” Jalen said.
This will be Maren DeMargel’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year.