A Balancing Act


Mueller and Addelyn Horne, 10, are exhausted after their volleyball game (photo submitted by H. Mueller).

As a student athlete, balancing school, work, and sports is difficult, but a skill that is important to learn. When I did volleyball in the fall, dealing with all of my homework, leaving early for games, and not getting home until 9 p.m. was stressful. 

I would have to work overtime in all of my classes everyday, go in early in the mornings, or come in during advisory. I did these things just so I could go home to take a shower and get some sleep after volleyball. It was a lot of work and it felt like I never got a break. Last year, I didn’t have very good time management skills so I got very unmotivated and behind. This year, it wasn’t perfect, but I was more motivated and tried to stay on top of everything. 

Some people and teachers take for granted how hard it is to be a student athlete because, unless you have been in that position before, it’s hard to match it or be in their shoes. Since being an athlete is physically and mentally demanding, there aren’t many other things that capture the mindset at that degree. There were times that I had so much homework or a quiz that I didn’t do well on and my grade plummeted. Unless you have understanding coaches, you most likely won’t be able to play until you get that grade up, even if there is nothing you can do. 

Some tips that I have for struggling student athletes is that communication is key. Communicating with teachers can be crucial to get extensions on assignments to catch up and balance everything. However, there is one major flaw with this.   If these requests become excessive, it causes the student to be unreliable in getting their work done. Once this happens, it destroys trust between the student and teacher in many cases.

Another thing that all coaches know is that school comes first. If you talk with your coaches about staying after school to complete missing work, they would much rather you excel in school than flunk and make it to every practice. Coaches remember what it was like to be a student athlete so they want you to succeed in school just as much as they want you to succeed in sports. 

When thinking about whether you have what it takes to be a student athlete, just remember the amount of effort and commitment it requires to have a good school work and sports balance, you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed during season, and your teachers and coaches have your back and if you put in the effort, you will get good things in return.


**To read about a similar topic, check out this story!

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