An inside look at the life of a high school student-athlete

Alex Smith and Kevin Petersen

The life of a high school can be hard, and keeping up with grades, a social life, and family obligations is a lot to balance sometimes. For students who choose to participate in extracurricular activities, their schedules are even more jam packed. Athletics is one of the most popular extracurriculars, with about 77% of the student body participating in a sport. We sat down with five of these students-athletes to get a glimpse of their everyday life. 

What does your morning routine consist of? Do you have to be up early? 

Junior Sam Hauk, Football: My morning routine starts the night before when I pack my clothes and backpack. Then I set my alarm for 5:15 a.m. and get to sleep. I wake up, brush my teeth, let the dogs out and head to school for a 6 a.m. lift. 

After school, how do you manage your time? How does your sport affect your schedule? 

Sophomore Rose Clarke, Cross Country: Cross country starts at 4:00 p.m. usually and ends at 5:30 p.m., so that still gives me plenty of time to do homework. On the days I have dance and cross country on the same day is very different because it affects my schedule much more. I go straight from dance that ends at 4 p.m. to cross country that starts at the same time, then after that I have dance from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s harder to manage my time with homework and studying on the days I have both dance and cross country.

How late do you get to bed every night?

Junior Rose Porter, Volleyball: Around 10:30 p.m. I try to get my homework and studying done before going to bed.

How well do you balance your time?

Hauk: Time balance is very important to me so to help with this I always try to keep a mental schedule going. This allows me to plan ahead and prepare myself for either a night of light work or one where I’ll be up studying all night.

Are you still able to make time go out and socialize during the week?

Junior Lola Frankowski, Softball: I still have time to go out to dinner with my family on some weeknights, but most of the time during the week, I try to stay in so I can get as much sleep as I can.

Do you often have to plan your life around your sport?

Hauk: Yes, my life and even my families’ schedules revolve around practices and games.

Do you see an impact on your grades when in season?

Hauk: It’s hard to tell if grades get affected since the season lasts so long, but overall I’d say it’s easier to get better grades when I have more time to study and relax. At the moment, I’m either doing football or school at any given moment.

Are you a year-round athlete or just when in season?

Hauk: I only play football through Pius, which in itself is year-long, but other than that I play on a rec league baseball team.

Do you ever feel that there is too much pressure being a student athlete? 

Frankowski: There can be lots of pressure being a student-athlete. We are all expected to leave classes early for games or we go to practice for 2-3 hours every day after school and then go home to hours of homework. When being a student-athlete, you have to figure out your time management skills, which also helps prepare you for later in life.

What changes do you see when you are not in season?

Hauk: One major change I see out of season is I tend to nap a lot more and be more lazy with my time since there is so much of it. However, it always feels as if there is no time between seasons and that any free time we get flies by.

What is the biggest impact your sport has on you?

Clarke: The biggest impact my sport has had on me is gaining more stamina and being able to push myself. 

Do you enjoy your sport or do you do it because your friends do? 

Freshman Cassidy Payne, Competition Cheerleading: I love my sport. I would do it if none of my friends were on my team, but it helps to have friends on the team.

Is your sport a good mental break?

Payne: No, it is more of a mental challenge. I feel as if I have to get my mind right before entering practice or a game.