The Student-Athlete Balance, and New Ways to Manage Time

Kate Feist, Staff Writer

It’s no secret that high school athletes who compete at a high level have very busy schedules. Both during their season and in their off season, those schedules may not always agree with school and time becomes a scarcity. Whether it’s 2+ hour practices every day before or after school, leaving class early to travel to away matches or attending team lifting sessions, most student athletes have to face the challenge of balancing school and sports. 

“We miss school probably like once a week if we have a game,” says Ellie Keenan, ‘23, for Girls Basketball. “Going in for MAST and going in early helps.”

For some athletes in some seasons, taking advantage of the academic support offered by the school is enough to beat the ever growing homework opponent. But for athletes with spring seasons or with other extracurriculars or obligations, more academic creativity is needed to stay afloat given standardized testing.

“We practice probably six days during the season,” says Nathan Keese, ‘24, for Boys’ Tennis. “When the season is going we have AP exams. After practice I have to go home and study, but once May 10th is over, it gets a lot better.”

Some athletes have been forced to think outside of the box when studying and come up with their own unique study skills that go beyond just going in for MAST once a week.

“Prioritize the hard classes,” advises Keese.

According to varsity athletes at MHS, it is helpful to analyze one’s current academic standing and make decisions about where to focus their time. It is most helpful to focus time and energy on classes one finds challenging. When an athlete is just too overwhelmed or finds that it is not possible to get everything done in a given moment, they ask themselves “What is important that I understand at this moment?” Focusing on what is urgent in the moment, making progress on it and setting a time for later to work on other, less essential work is key. 

In the end, no matter the specific way student athletes study, the student athlete balance is achievable with hard work, dedication and planning.