Smack Talking

Smack talk is perceived as negative to athletes, but in reality can help players fuel their motivation to win.

When it comes to sports, a healthy dose of competition is expected. Many athletes get their heated moments with the pressure of winning a game or a match looming over their heads, which oftentimes leads to a clash of sportsmanship. After a recent uproar in Wisconsin regarding appropriate cheering on and off the court, smack talking is now being debated on a national level with North Suburban Conference athletes debating themselves what it really means to smack talk.

Athletes get even more heated when arguments start back and forth on the bench. Smack talking is more than just talking bad about the other team’s skills, smack talking is something that becomes personal when calling out one person on the opposing team.

“One time at the end of the game, this kid on the other team kept calling me babyface and he got up in my face so I got up in his” said freshman Krystian Nikolov. “Smack talking gets in the other team’s head and I think it really messes with them.”

Trash talking comes naturally for those who play the game and it is even more common to let some inappropriate words slip out when the stakes are higher.

Not only does trash talking come from the bench, but also with the rising popularity of fan sections. From each side of the field or court, trash talking comes in various cheers. In some cases, fan sections show school pride, but in other cases, as noted in two of Principal Bradford Hubbard‘s emails in January, the cheers between fan sections turn into war and a sign of disrespect.

“Smack talking has to do with the hype of the game, I honestly think smack talking is a part of high school and is a part of life,” sophomore Jordan DeLara said. “It’s good to get competitive. Yes, there is a line that should not be crossed, but it is fun being a fan. Smack talking is a big part of the competition and it can encourage the players to do better.”

For students trying to encourage their team from the bleachers, it is a common opinion that smack talking is a positive aspect at games because it gets players excited and makes them play better. Athletes use the constant cheers from their fans as fuel to do better.

Smack talking on social media adds a whole other level before the game even starts, during the game and when the game finishes. Social profiles like Smackhigh let students submit comments about other schools that starts bad blood before and after a big game.

Sophomore Deighton Butenschoen, a Smackhigh representative said, “Anyone can sign up to be a representative. Reps are usually chosen on the popularity of your area and how active you are on social media. Most people react to our posts in a positive way, but sometimes people are angry about what was said about their team or organization.”

Smack talking is more than slander from the sidelines or the bench, it comes from the fans that support their team. Friendly competition can quickly turn to cheap shots. Even though these comments can come off as negative, they actually can encourage athletes to do better in a competition rather than knock them down.