High school sports creates academic stress

Julian Albright, Sports Editor

It is 6:20 a.m. and is time for varsity basketball player Chanel Rice to wake up for school. Rice, a junior, understands that school is crucial, which is why she makes sure everything is ready to go the night before.

“I already have my school stuff together, with my basketball stuff and my outfit,” said Price.

At school, Rice tries to get as much work done as possible. That means homework during class, and on game days, working until she isn’t able to.

“I usually don’t have a lot of homework when I get home.”

That makes it easy for her to relax, take her time on the little homework she might have, and getting everything ready for the next day.

Probably the overall biggest challenges of playing sports in high school, is balancing all the different aspects of teenage life.

“Time management, and my social life are the hardest,” said junior wrestler Jonathan York.

Other athletes agree with him such as junior track runner, Caleb Perkins.

“I don’t have time to do other things in my outside life,” said Perkins. It takes up so much time.”

When athletes are too busy to hang out with their friends after school, they have to find alternate ways to see them.

“I make my friends come to my volleyball games and I work out with my friends who also play sports,” said Rowan Hoel, a sophomore volleyball player.

School work also plays a big role in this balance. After all, the term is student athlete, and knowing that most high school athletes don’t continue on to play Division I sports, it is crucial that school comes first.

“Keeping your grades up is huge,” said York. “Especially when you’re taking harder courses.”

Balancing sports with social life and school is definitely a big part of high school, but it’s not the only complication of high school sports. The majority of high school athletes also need to obtain a good mental toughness. A good number of high school sports, even though there is a team, tend to be a lot more individual. Track, cross country, tennis, and wrestling are just a few.

“With individual sports, you get in what you put out,” said York.

Athletes can feel a lot more accomplished when they are performing better because of their personal effort. That being said, students who are performing well in their sports can not let it go to their heads.

“When you’re doing good, it’s harder to concentrate on other things,” said York.

When an athlete is doing well, it would be natural for sports to consume their thoughts, and for them to focus on how well they execute next time. On top of that, student athletes have to deal with celebrating and publicity.

When athletes are performing well lots of attention is drawn to them and it is easy for that to go to their heads. They can become cocky, or overconfident, and focus solely on their sport, instead of balancing it with school.

Celebrating also plays a role as a possible distraction.

“Whenever I win, my parents usually take me out for dinner,” said York.

Celebrating can take an athlete’s mind off everything, school and sports, and too much celebrating can lead to inadequate performance in both.

There are also many benefits to being a high school athlete though, and a great deal of reasons students stick with it

“High school sports are cool because you meet new people, stay in shape, and learn new things,” said Maleak Johnson, junior, who plays soccer and runs track.

Staying in shape is a huge part of it, as well as keeping kids out of things they shouldn’t be doing.

“It’s a good way to keep people out of trouble,” said Josh Randle, sophomore