Coaches must balance athletics and schoolwork

Myka Fromm, Opinions Writer

We all know that sports are a big deal in high school.  Football games are our outlets for school spirit. We all unite, bang on our pots, and flaunt our black and gold on the bleachers.  But there’s a side to the story that the fans don’t see: The work. The time. The energy. Too often, sports take the front seat in students’ lives and push aside what we really need to spend our time on.

While studying at the library, Desiree Lockhart, a senior on the varsity field hockey team, recounts her busy schedule.  

“On average, each night, I would probably say I spend about four to five hours on homework, and I spend two hours doing sports,” she said, following with the fact that she usually goes to bed at 1:00 am each night.  With school starting at 7:45 each day, hardly any high school students get the amount of sleep they should: nine to nine and a half hours of sleep each night, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Not only do sports take over our lives during the day, but they impact how much we are able to sleep, likely reducing our performance in both academics and athletics.

Lockhart is a part of many activities outside of school in addition to sports.  “I participate here in homework club, I coach on Wednesdays and Saturdays, … [and] I volunteer at church on Sundays.”  She is also one of the leaders of our school’s chapter of FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Lockhart says that with all of the strenuous classes she takes, her lack of free time can sometimes affect her performance.  Referring to her classes, she says, “I have to put more time into them, and the more time I put into them, the better I do.” With everything else in her life, she can’t always put that time into her schoolwork, something she wants to do.

Kevin Zhang, a freshman on the cross country team, states some of the positives of sports.  

“Coming off a long day of school, it’s really nice to just be able to have an after school sport rather than going home and doing homework.  It’s a great stress reliever of some sorts,” he said. Sports are not only a way of getting in your exercise but also a place to unwind for many.  PHI

I am a midfielder on the JV field hockey team.  I’ve played sports all my life, and I love them.  That said, they draw the line when they interfere with school.  We are students first and athletes second. When we have two and a half hour practices every day, six days a week, coaches expect us to put sports over everything else.  Sports are a huge part of our lives, but our lives should not be built around sports.  

That’s what we need to tell our coaches.  We are teenagers. We are teenagers who happen to play sports, but most importantly, we are teenagers.  We can’t let our coaches forget that.