Balancing School and Athletics
Obviously, being a student athlete can be difficult at any level and with any sport because of the immense time that both require; many serious athletes choose to disregard their schoolwork completely because they simply prioritize their sport first and do not want to sacrifice any of their time or energy on something that they care less about. On the other hand, many talented athletes are forced to give up their sport either temporarily or permanently if they do not keep their grades up or stay on top of their schoolwork.
Personally, although it has taken a while, I have finally found a manageable system and mindset that allows me to put an adequate amount of time into both my education and basketball.
I learned freshman year that it would be unrealistic for me to continue taking every honors class available.
Therefore, I began to narrow down which subjects I truly cared about and would be beneficial for my future career, as a journalist, and which were not worth the time or energy. Each year my list of difficult classes shortened until junior year when I committed to a college and no longer needed to build up an impressive resume.
In order to continue to challenge myself and prepare for my future career, I will continue to take honors English and AP government senior year, but I will not take a science class and will take regular level math, as well as several electives and study halls.
Now that I have been able to spend a considerably less amount of time on my schoolwork outside of school, I’ve been able to focus on basketball and conditioning without feeling overly stressed.
Although it took a while, I have learned to accept that it is okay to lighten my work load; this does not make me lazy. Especially as a student athlete, I do not need to put any unnecessary pressure on myself to maintain an off-the-charts GPA or unique resume, as most athletes have below-average grades anyways.
For every student athlete, the exact method will be different, but it is important to find the right balance between pushing yourself in the classroom but saving time and every for your sport.