Students, Sports, and Stress


Brianna McKerracher

Mathew DeTine tries to find the balance between academics and athletics.

Brianna Mckerracher, Staff Writer

When someone decides to play a sport in high school, they sign up for late night practices, weeknight games, and constant pressure from coaches and parents to perform well. Most student athletes can agree that a major struggle they experience is balancing academics and sports, and the difficulty only increases. As time moves on, the curriculum’s intensity, the dedication, and the time required to play the sport increases. What most people do not pay much attention to is the large amount of stress put on the students. Not only do athletes have performance goals to strive for, but academic goals to accomplish as well. Even though, at times, the workload can seem daunting, students can do things, or change things, to manage and help diminish stress and increase productivity.

Time Management

Students who play sports balance hectic practice schedules, homework, and late night games almost everyday. Every student knows that making strict deadlines and major tests are regular occurrences. When these two things conflict, time is very difficult to manage, and athletics can get in the way of schoolwork. When there is hours of homework to be done, this can start to become a problem.

“During basketball season, I’m playing two sports, basketball and soccer, and it’s really hard for me to get my work done, but I have to find a way to manage my time and get it finished quickly. Some nights you have to stay up late, but it’s worth it when the hard work pays off, ” said freshman varsity basketball player Maddie Dolenga.

The time that kids have available is so important and needs to be taken advantage of. Doing homework on the bus, in class, or after school is a great way to lessen the workload later on, which usually leads to better quality work and more sleep.

Talk to your teachers

Teachers usually want their students to succeed and learn new things. If there is a subject that is becoming difficult, go and talk to the teacher in class instead of trying to figure it out at home later on that night. Not only will this save time, but it will help strengthen the understanding of the information. Sometimes teachers can schedule a test or a quiz when multiple other teaches have as well. If enough students voice concern or stress about the test date, the teacher may consider moving it back.

Stay focused

There are many distractions that can prevent things from getting done. Watching television, going on phones, and hanging out with friends are all fun things to do, but when there is hours of school work to get done in a small amount of time, they can prevent what really needs to get accomplished from getting done.

“Occasionally it is stressful, but I’m good at managing my time, and I get my homework done and my schoolwork done in the times that I do have free time,” said sophomore cross-country runner and basketball player Amelia Drahnak.

When dealing with a packed schedule, it is important to take advantage of free time and accomplish what needs to get done in that time period. Even though most of the time phones are distracting, there are also many apps like Duolingo, Calcchat, and Slader that offer homework help. After finishing everything there will be time to relax, but do not get caught up in  the distractions.

Use your sport as a release

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress; it helps increase the production of endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body. It also promotes a healthier, confident lifestyle. Sometimes the best thing you can do to keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed is to go to practice and release pent-up energy.

Brianna McKerracher
Kaitlynn Kovalesky agonizes over her workload.

Sports are fun and exciting to watch and play. School work should not be something that stops a person from enjoying athletics. It builds relationships and pushes people to meet their goals. Learning how to manage time now is a great skill to have in the future, which is another reason why sports are worth the struggle in the long run.  

“Playing sports in high school is stressful, but it’s a lot of fun and a good challenge,” said wrestler and cross-country runner junior Kyler O’Grady.

The challenge and the sense of community brings people together and makes the high school experience more enjoyable. By managing time and staying focused, it is completely possible to be a great athlete and a determined student. Juggling athletics and academics will require effort and it won’t always be easy, but most anyone can do it as long as they commit to it.