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The Balancing Act: A Journey Into The Life Of A Student Athlete

1516 words - 7 pages

An average day for freshman football player Greyson Felner consists of an eight hour school day, three hour sports practice, two hour homework load, and maybe, if he has time, an one or so hour block of free time. However, these are just statistics, and they vary far and wide depending on the particular student. This then begs the question: How does a student manage both school and sports? What are their universal thoughts and worries and joys in relation to this?

When asked, each student athlete is more than capable of listing a slew of joys they experience in relation to being on a high school sports team. Emily Calhoun, a Freshman on the Varsity Volleyball team, laughingly admitted that, ”It's nice to be known around school.” She also took the time to explain that being an athlete in high school is probably the best experience she could ever have because her teammates became something like a second family.

Calhoun, however, is not alone in her opinion. Freshman cross country runner Clark Bowden also stated that, “I loved running cross country. It helped me get through the first part of high school and I had a ton of fun.”

These opinions are neither limited to person, nor are they limited to age. Senior Joel Choi says of golf, “It's a very time consuming sport [golf], but if you put in the right practice, it's very rewarding.”

Even coaches understand the significant role that being on a sports team plays in the life of a student athlete. Madison Varsity Golf coach Derrick Rauenzahn denoted that, “... athletes find sports fun and enjoyable, and they actually reduce stress, and increase healthy social skills.”

Nonetheless, along with these joys come consequences that many student athletes struggle to deal with. Many sacrifice important aspects of their lives in order to be a lettering athlete.

“I lose a lot of sleep” Sam Kase (15’), a starter on the Varsity Golf team stated matter-of-factly as a result of a stressful homework load.

Nicole Fitzpatrick, a freshman on the varsity dance team, also has little free time as result of her commitment to school, “Some nights I don't get home until 10, and then I have to start my homework” Fitzpatrick (17’) explained.

The problem then becomes whether school or sports takes the priority of the student athlete, many students and their parents having to decide whether an academic scholarship or sports scholarship is more of an attainable goal. For student athletes, it is a personal struggle to decide which deserves the emphasis and greater portion of their effort. In the student athlete body, both varying opinions are evident, making each student athlete's situation different.

Siena Ferrick,a freshman on the Madison Varsity Golf Team, asserted, “I have a high GPA but that isn't going to get me into schools for free, my golf will. It’s not that I don’t care about school, it’s just that it’s not a worry for me. School is manageable.” However, there are student athletes who depend on an incorporation...

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