Academics vs. Athletics: It’s All Down to the Clock

January 27, 2023


Ever stressing over homework or tests happening the following day? Well, student-athletes face the challenge of balancing academic work and playing the sport. From the moment they get up, to the moment they finally get a break to breathe, student-athletes are on their feet plowing through the game, match, or even homework!

Some teachers think that there’s the people who are on top of their classes and don’t usually have tons of homework and are successful in that class, and then there’s the people who don’t really care about their classes or don’t prioritize the work and fail. But that is not always true. There’s way more depth and complexity to the amount of stress student-athletes face. 

Sometimes there’s all-day tournaments or games and then by the time the athletes get home, they have to take care of their family, siblings, or pets before they can focus on themselves. 

Mason Hollingsworth, a freshman golfer, states, “I got home around five or six and had to take care of my brother.”

Many athletes had to do chores and get dinner before they could even touch their work. Some athletes would stay up past midnight doing homework, would have a game the next day, and barely have any energy to play. The amount of work that teachers assign is fair, but there’s a point where the work gets to be too much.

Exhausted? Any motivation left?

Athletes and coaches at TMHS work hard during the fall sports season, both on and off playing. Just because athletes skip school, they still need to make up the work they missed. Many student-athletes undergo so much stress, so looking for time to work on homework or missed schoolwork is extremely difficult and stressful.

 It’s super important for student-athletes to know how much of a commitment they need to make in order to play a sport. From the information gathered, many athletes find it hard balancing academics and athletics.

When some athletes get back home or to school, they’re exhausted and don’t have the motivation to do homework or schoolwork. 

“It was kind of hard to balance the academic side of things because some teachers don’t really give you any extra time or extension on homework or projects,” Leilani Meckley, a freshman softball player, reported. But as Max Roselle, a freshman tennis player, pointed out, “It wasn’t that hard to bounce back from but it was just a lot more work.” 

There’s a really cruicial way to solve these problems, and it’s reaching out and talking to teachers ahead of time. Some teachers will take the time to care and support you, but other teachers don’t give the time or attention to help those student-athletes. 

How To Get Help

Student-athletes certainly can’t change how a teacher teaches, but athletes can change the way they take action and get help for themselves, rather than waiting for the teachers to come to you with the missing assignments you have.

One positive to having the odd/even days, is that you get two days to do your homework. This reflects on the community in a neutral way because the more work that the students/atheltes have, the more stressed they’re going to be — but sometimes that means that the athletes are more determined to play so that they can finish their work sooner. 

Problems With School? Try These!

Another perspective is that the more the students play, the more likely they’re to have better organizing and time management skills. If students are going to play a sport, they need to be on top of their organization skills, and not waste time in class to get the assignments done

Some ways athletes can have more confidence balancing the workload as well as playing the sport which means getting the work needed ahead of time, focusing and prioritizing academics, asking for help as needed, or having a peer take notes for them.

For me, as a freshman student-athlete, I was missing my last class 90% of the time for softball games, which was biology, and that specific class is hard when it comes to following up with work because that class is a higher level class. But after a while, it got a little easier to get ahead of the class.

Adaptations For Student Athletes

Once athletes get in the groove of how things work being on a team sport, they can easily adapt to how the teachers roll. Before students make a decision about joining or playing a sport, they need to understand how big of a commitment they owe to the team — they need to show up to practice, put in their fullest effort, take responsibility, step up to become a leader, or listen to your teammates and coaches. 

As a freshman student-athlete who played softball, it’s fun and exciting when you’re able to play with your friends on the same team, but — it can get distracting, but with those relationships the athletes already have, they can make great teammates who have really strong bonds.

Having strong bonds and relationships on a school athletic team can be really valuable because it means that you work harder and more efficiently. 

You know how the other people or person roll, so the duos make really valuable teammates to have.

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