Friday, January 9, 2015
Stress Caused by Trying to Balance Sports and Academics in Middle School
Imagine if you were playing on your middle school football team and you have the championship game coming up in two weeks. You have practice every day during the week before the game. The next day you are in school and you find out you have a project that will count as half of your grade that is due in two weeks. You know that you have had hard times doing projects in the past and you also remember that you have your football championship game practices all week. When you get home, you go in your room and lay in bed thinking how stressful it will be for you to finish your project and go to practice. Being a student athlete, can be stressful along the way in middle school. Trying to balance sports and academics can be difficult and can weaken your mental strength. There are ways to help you stay on track.
One way you can do this is to manage your time effectively. Good time management skills are very important to doing your best as a student and as an athlete. Student athletes all have a limited amount of time to do everything we need and want to do and as a student-athlete you may have more going on than others. The best way to have the time to do everything you need and want to do is to do assignments ahead of time so you can get them out of the way. You need to manage the time for academics, practices and competitions, activities with you family and friends, and eating and sleeping. If you manage your time between schoolwork, sports and family you can be a great student-athlete because of your time management.
Another obstacle you will need to overcome is stress. Being a student-athlete can bring a lot of stress causing us to lose concentration in both school and sports. For example, one student-athlete could feel so much stress that he/she will quit the sport he/she is playing. If you quit your sport, you will probably ruin your chances of playing again on that team.
If you are a student athlete you need to learn how to manage stress. There is no way to avoid stress altogether, you need to learn techniques for releasing stress in healthy ways. For instance, you will need to develop healthy habits such getting enough sleep and eating meals regularly. Having snacks with you for after school and before practice is a good idea. Getting enough exercise so your body will stay in good shape is another way to help manage stress. If you put in the effort, the results can be amazing!
A positive thing that you can gain by trying to balance sports and academics is a character trait, such as leadership. You can be an effective leader in many ways. Good leaders consistently give their best effort without being told, regardless of who is watching. This means that some people can be a leader not only on the field or court but also in school. For example, if you have a group project in class you will need a leader to make sure everyone is doing their job. Many times, the student-athlete is that person who steps up to be the leader. While a student-athlete who performs as a leader can feel stressed, this type of person can also do well and succeed in both school and sports.
By doing all these things to overcome the obstacles of being a student-athlete, you can gain great mental strength, be less stressed and have few character flaws. Being a student-athlete comes with great responsibility for both your mind and body. Some day in the future, you will realize that all of the work you have put in can pay off in the end both in school and sports!
-Ryan Costanza, Staff Writer