The Booster

Finding The Balance

The Life of a Student Athlete

Hannah Willey, Junior Staff Writer

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Growing up, children across the nation dream about being an all-star athlete in high school. Young athletes look up to the players they watch on the court Friday night; they can not wait to be just like them one day. These aspiring young athletes only see the fun part. They often fail to distinguish what being a “student athlete” actually consists of.

Student athletes are constantly juggling between everyday practices, game days, and endless amounts of homework. Multiple students at Abilene High School have found the perfect balance. Damian Hartman, a member of the boys basketball team, found a balance by making sure he uses the time teachers give him in class wisely. When asked to share his secret to success, Damian said, “Just make sure to use as much time as you can in school for homework so you can have the time to be social outside of school.”

Often times, student athletes can lack motivation in the classroom. Student athletes are expected to maintain motivation on and off the court. It is crucial for student athletes to stay focused and driven in the classroom, but there are many distracting factors that take away from this reality. Student athletes often miss class and deal with fatigue and injury. Jensen Roth, a member of the girls basketball team, has battled a shoulder injury all year. This injury has required her to use her seminar time to visit the athletic trainer, resulting in no time to work on homework. When asked what her biggest challenge is, Jensen said, “My biggest challenge is a lack of time. I have to be very creative with how and what for I use my time. Every day I write in a planner any homework I need to get done, and then when I finish that homework, I cross it off. A planner makes sure I stay on top of things and don’t forget to do any homework.”

Many student athletes are also required to find a job and work on the weekends. Finding a job that will work with the crazy schedule of an athlete is a challenge in itself. Athletes are required to plan ahead and find time to work as many hours as they can when they have a free weekend. Sydney Burton, a member of the girls basketball team, says that she can find a balance by staying organized, sticking to a schedule, and prioritizing activities. “Balancing school, sports, and a social life can be overwhelming—especially when you hold a job throughout the school year.” Because of Sydney’s drive and determination, once she gets in a routine, she finds it easy to balance day-to-day activities.

Having a social life can be very difficult when so many other responsibilities are on the plate. The social aspect of things can often get pushed to the side. Being apart of a team is the biggest part of student athletes social life; teammates become some of your closest friends. Bret Ambrosier, a member of the boys basketball team, tries to work ahead on his schoolwork. Bret said, “That way if an opportunity to hang with some friends comes up, you don’t have to worry about school work.”

Being a student athlete isn’t always easy, but it’s all worth it in the end, and they wouldn’t want it any other way.

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