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The Student-Athlete Balancing Act

The rewards and challenges of being both a student and an athlete
Marist High School football players Tommy Hosty (7) and Michael Town (53) take the field and also tackle academics in their off time
Marist High School football players Tommy Hosty (7) and Michael Town (53) take the field and also tackle academics in their off time

Balancing being a student in high school and being a part of a sport can be challenging. Student-athletes have a huge time commitment due to games and practices. Student-athletes also have to be on top of their grades, or else they will fall onto the ineligible list and won’t be able to play. However, there are strategies to help.

“The challenges I face with playing sports and doing school work is there is not a lot of free time. I go from school to practice, to homework, to bed,” said freshman athlete Tommy Hosty. He plans to be a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball, and baseball.

Being in a sport, students have practices multiple times throughout the week, which can cause problems with schoolwork. Most athletes have practice  Monday through Friday, with one to two games per week.

“Playing a sport does affect how I do in school because I am usually tired at school. Sometimes my homework takes hours, which causes me to go to bed later,” said Hosty.

There are some benefits to playing sports in high school. For one thing, it can help people meet some of their future best friends.

“Playing a sport makes school more fun because I have some classes with kids on my football team, so I get to talk with them and stay close with them outside of football,” said Hosty.

Playing sports can translate to improved grades.

“It helps some students be more responsible. I think the expectations that some coaches have for their athletes those same responsibilities and expectations can transfer to academics,” said Mrs. Lewis, Dean of Academic Success

A huge reason why some student-athletes are not successful in school is that they fall behind.

“I would tell a new student-athlete to do homework whenever you can throughout the school day. Like if you have free time in a class, make sure to do homework instead of playing games. If you do that, then when you are done with football or whatever sport you play, you can go to bed earlier or have some free time to relax,” said Hosty.

Athletes have resources available to them throughout the school, but most don’t use them.

“They [athletes] don’t do well because they don’t take advantage of a study hall, teachers support, or tutoring in the building,” said Lewis. She is constantly dealing with athletes and trying to help them stay on top of their grades.

What’s her advice for student-athletes?

“Use a planner, manage their time so that they know what time they have practice so if practice is not right after school they can use some of that time to work,” Lewis says. “If they are struggling, I think it is important to tell their teacher, counselor, or dean so they know how to get support.”

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About the Contributors
Eddie Dougherty, Journalism and Media 1 Writer
My name is Eddie Dougherty and I am a freshman here at Marist. I graduated from Saint Alexander and I play football and baseball. I love playing and watching sports. I definitely see myself taking a career in sports.

Michael Pursel, Journalism and Media 1 Writer
Hi I am Michael Pursel, I am a sophomore at Marist. I play football and baseball at Marist. I am also in the marching band and ambassadors. I enjoy playing sports and paintball in my freetime. I am excited to write for MHS Media.

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