Balancing Sports and Academics

Drew Hanft, Sports Reporter

You will often hear a student-athlete talk about how busy they are after school, or they will say something like, “I’m not going to get any sleep tonight.”  Between waking up early every morning, going to school for nearly seven hours, having study hall, practicing or games, and then coming home only to do more school work, it can be very tough and stressful to maintain academics and athletics.   Teachers are not going to give you less homework just because you have a game that night or you have a lot of other homework.  This is all part of being a student-athlete and the grind necessary to be successful in both school and his/her sport they participate in.

Student-athletes at Michigan City High School have to maintain a 1.5 grade point average in order to participate in athletics.  Athletes know that if they cannot maintain this GPA then they cannot play the sport that they love.  No student-athlete should even want to be close to this number or else this causes unnecessary stress and work to keep the grade point average hovering above the 1.5.  A student-athlete will have to maintain a higher GPA if they are interested in playing sports in college.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sixty percent of high school students participate in some kind of sports team for their school.  The average GPA for a graduated high school student is 3.1 for a female and a 2.9 for a male.  Meanwhile, students who participated in athletics performed ten percent better in social studies, math, science, and English.

Although competing in athletics and keeping up with school work may seem difficult and stressful at times, there are many ways to stay ahead of the game and balance the two without driving yourself insane.  Sophomore, Braxton Hervey, competes in three sports including football, bowling, and track and advises student-athletes at MCHS to try using a planner.  “After a long day at school and a practice, you might just forget what homework you have to complete, so using a planner is a great and smart idea.”

One big factor in student-athletes slipping up in their studies may be a lack of sleep and stress.  Do not stress yourself out, grab a snack and a bottle of water and go back to the books. Another three sport athlete, junior Caleb Raymer says “No need to stress so hard over the little things, just get it done.  When you are done you can do something on your own time if you had a long day.  I like to play a little Xbox to soothe the soul.”  Freshman diver, Mallory Marquiss, says “Do not stress, you are in sports because of the grades you have.  If you keep up the grades, you will have more time to practice and do the sport that you love.”  The freshman also added, “Keep your priorities in line and be organized because the opportunity to participate in sports is an amazing privilege.”

Even those nights when you just want to go straight to bed after a hard practice, getting your work done will give you a very accomplished feeling.  Freshman, Braden Fiske, competes in football and baseball and advises student-athletes to “make room for schoolwork because part of being a student-athlete means school first, sports second.  If you are striving for a scholarship, you need good grades.”

Some student-athletes find success in getting their homework done before practice. Sophomore, Kobe Roberson, competes in two sports and finds it nice by having study tables before practice.  “I try to balance my homework by anything with math or chemistry I do at study tables because of the tutors available.  I get my hardest subjects out of the way at study tables because I can get help.”

These are all useful ways to keep school and athletics balanced and enjoy high school as stress free as possible.

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