Students Struggle to Juggle Sports and Academics


Student-Athlete Trevell Cummingham

High school is a crucial time in young adults lives as they try to succeed in school, decide their plans for the future, and for many athletes, play their last years of organized sports. These commitments add up and many students can begin to feel overwhelmed.

School is a full time job, lasting from 7:30 am to 2:36 pm. Students spend a little over seven hours at school.

Student athletes then spend a couple hours practicing their sports. Their activities are even more time consuming when they have competitions, not to mention the time it takes for transportation to and from their activities.

Matt Dingmann, an Arrowhead senior, says, “Being a swimmer and diver during the school year is a time crunch. After school, I go directly into practice until 6, then by the time I’m done showering and eating, it’s already 7:30.”

In addition, student athletes have homework and studying to complete after these activities to keep up their grades.

“During the days of meets, which is 2 to 3 times a week, they usually start right after school and then end around 8:30, by the time I get home I don’t even do homework or study, I’m exhausted and just want to go to bed,” says Dingmann.

High school students can become overwhelmed with all these responsibilities and expectations they have from coaches, teammates, parents, teachers, and themselves.

Coaches emphasize the importance of school, as kids cannot participate in sports unless they keep their grades up. However, coaches expect all participants to be at all games and practices and even put in additional practice, taking away time to study. Students can be afraid to miss any sports expectations because they want to maintain their place on the team can sacrifice academics.

Trevor Graber, an Arrowhead senior, is a senior hockey player. He is also an Honor Roll student, currently enrolled in 5 AP curriculum courses.

“Our coach expects us to be at practice early and stay after. My teachers are expecting me to be putting at least 45 minutes of time into homework and studying each night, and my parents expect me to be at the dinner table every night as well as do my chores. There are only so many hours in the day,” says Graber.

Students are expected to manage their time in order to handle all of their responsibilities. But the fact is, sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day.

“Something has to give because I can’t satisfy all of my AP teachers, my coach, and my parents. It’s usually just late nights trying to focus on homework,” says Graber.

A student can then sacrifice sleep. But then their performance in both sports and school suffers, and their teachers and coaches express how important sleep is.

They find themselves in a no win situation and they begin to lose their control of all the aspects of their teenage life, and are they blamed for not using their time wisely.