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Pressures of being a student athlete

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Being an athlete in recent years has become the best way to get involved with your school, especially with the numerous options provided for students. However, achieving good grades while being a student athlete can be challenging. Having to balance school work on top of sporting activities is difficult to maintain, principally when the school workload increases. With the way students talk around the school, it is obvious that there are more than a few students who feel this pressure upon them. Freshmen Alex Canfield said, “Crew is a very fun sport, and I really enjoy participating in it. I’ve made a lot of friends due to being on the team. However, it has become harder to participate in crew due to school work.”

According to recent studies on blogs.edweek.org, the average student spends roughly three hours and 30 minutes on homework per night. That workload may not seem too bad, but when combined with a three-hour practice and an hour of studying, it adds up to about seven hours and 30 minutes of encumbered time. That is equivalent to the time students spend in school everyday.

While some student athletes may have a positive mindset towards school, others lack motivation needed for school in order to maintain a high grade point average. It seems as if some students are pressured into doing sports by parents, older siblings or even social pressures. That being said, it is more likely that the student mind is not on school work, but rather on after school sports. Keeping grades up seems impossible to some student athletes, especially those who train every day after school.

One of the benefits of being a student athlete in Arlington is the block scheduling. “Block scheduling is the only thing that saves me when it comes to school. It is easier, because the homework I receive that day is not due the very next day,” Canfield said. “I feel bad for the athletes who do not have block scheduling.”

While some may say that participating in sports does not affect their grade, others struggle to keep up with their school work.That pressure is felt by all athletes trying to maintain good grades. While the majority of student athletes may lack communication in the classroom, they do however learn to work well in conjunction with others by relying on one another to reach a common goal. It allows the student to show up putting forth their best mental and physical effort. “Yes student athletes have a lot of pressure placed upon them,” Canfield said. “Being [an athlete] I, along with others, have the mindset to put forth my best effort into my classes.”

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The student newspaper of Washington-Lee High School
Pressures of being a student athlete