Marta Stoesz author of this 2017-2018 MLHS senior student editorial
Living a Double Life
Being a student athlete can be hard because a student has two major time commitments: one to the teachers who expect the student to commit fully to the classroom and one to the coach who expects the athlete to commit fully to the sport. In spite of the challenge, student athletes can improve their overall health, learn how to maximize their time, and develop lifelong skills.
In the first place, the overall wellness of the student-athlete’s physical and emotional health is improved. On a regular basis, practice involves drills that require a high level of physical energy for maximum performance for games, in which the athlete develops physical stamina to be able to be physically prepared for competition. Staying in good physical shape decreases a person’s chances of developing many diseases, according to the Mayo Clinic. Emotional health also improves from the increased amount of endorphins, which create a natural high that help the athlete feel better. Also, endorphins help the athlete reduce stress and fight off depression.
In addition, student athletes are forced to maximize their use of time. Despite the amount of time they spend on athletics, they are required to maintain suitable grades in order to participate in athletics. According to our handbook, “Students ineligible due to academic failures may be allowed to practice, but may not travel with the team during the school day and may not dress for events.” This forces students to develop time management skills, even while juggling games and practices, and understand that balancing all aspects in life is important.
Finally, in addition to the other benefits, student athletes develop relationships and life skills, which may make them better people. A study done by the National Federation of State High School Associations and its members shows that high school sports promote citizenship and sportsmanship along with many other positive characteristics. Student athletes develop a sense of teamwork, hard work, and leadership, allowing them to achieve a new level of commitment and dedication, which may help them when working with coworkers in their future careers.
To conclude, being a student athlete may require juggling a double life at the same time; however, student athletes learn life skills both on and off the field/court and tend to be happier with their lives, while improving their physical and mental state. In the end, the benefits definitely make the hard work worthwhile.