being a student athlete is not easy
by kianni johnson, bryana martinez and amatullah wright
Above: Selena has mastered the difficult art of balancing school with volleyball
Photos by: Laura Valencia, Photography Editor
Above: This empty seat in Ms. Quackenbush's class belongs to a basketball star who has stopped showing up since season's end
Selena Brown is a 16 year-old Public Service and Law student who goes to school from 8am to 3:30pm. Selena Brown is also an athlete who routinely practices until 8pm each night because she plays on the Girls Varsity volleyball, basketball, softball, and indoor track teams.
Selena Brown is one of many student-athletes at Hillcrest High School who has to balance academics and being on sport teams. Student-athletes have increased pressures because of time that needs to be put in for academic success and practices after school. “It’s not that I don’t like or like having a full schedule. I just don’t mind having a full day because I like to stay busy.”
Balancing sports and academics in high school is not an easy task. Nevertheless, it is important that a student pass all their classes to not only join, but also remain on a sports team. School is already enough pressure on students. However, in order to not make students’ school experience based solely on learning, the school board allows sport teams, clubs, and numerous activities to be included in schools for students. Student-athletes like Selena balance academics and athletics through time management, however, it can be overwhelming. Depending on the person, a student's grades will be negatively impacted by being on a sports team.
Our research shows that female student-athletes in Hillcrest seem to be better than the male student-athletes in balancing their school work with athletics. Comparing boy team to girl teams, the girls pass more of their classes all year than the boys.
Last season, the Boys Varsity Baseball Team struggled with having multiple inactive players. This season coaches Kaufman and Quirros decided to put the boys on conduct cards to keep a close eye on how the boys are doing in each class everyday. Each day students have to get their teachers to sign for their behavior in classes and can be told to sit out if they do not have it.
Taking a look at the Girls Varsity Softball team, they have not had much trouble with the girls keeping their grades up. A big part of this is that the girls stay on top of one another assuring that they each do what they need to to pass their classes.
Many students enjoy the sports, activities and clubs they are in, but it can become overwhelming balancing the two along with other personal responsibilities such as chores, homework, studying, and other family priorities. Whether it is high school or college, school is going to be stressful. So how can one balance academics while being on a sports team?
A lot of students are under the impression that sports and academics clash, however, with the proper mindset they do not. It is possible to juggle sports and academics and excel in both according to www.healthguidance.org. By realizing that one helps the other, not thinking of your sport as work, not overbooking yourself, managing your time, and staying motivated, students can truly enjoy playing the sport they love while getting the education they need. In a classroom setting reading textbooks or handouts can get tiring and put students in a very lackadaisical mood. However, playing a sport can give students time to rest their brain and take a break from the norm of sitting in a classroom.
In addition, academics correlates with athletics because it teaches students logic that they can put to use when playing a sport. Academics can be stressful but participating in a sport is a break from that stress. According to www.healthguidance.org, when managing your time, students should sit down once a week (Sunday evening tends to work the best) and think about the week ahead. Plan and schedule each thing that you can. Schedule set times for studying and then stick to your schedule. Creating a schedule is much like creating a budget plan except that you are working with time instead of money. Try not to overbook yourself if you are in this situation.
Making time for school work and sports as well as catching up on assignments is normal. However, it is important to make “breathing time” simply just to relax or rest. Staying motivated is key. Although school and sports sound like a lot of work, it is important to also enjoy it.
Selena suggests giving up your free time and prioritize. “One thing you have to do is sacrifice your social life and devote your time to school work and athletics. It’s all about how you manage your time. Give your undivided attention to athletics and academics and you’ll be just fine.”