School over sports

Our Position: Coaches need to recognize that athletics come second to academics for student athletes.

Being a high schooler is no easy job. There’s stressful classes, trying to figure out what to do with for the rest of your life and plenty of social and academic stress. Some students take on the extra responsibility of participating in athletics.

Being a student athlete is no easy feat; athletes have to juggle grueling practices almost everyday, weekend tournaments, and the added pressure of performing well in every game. No matter how stressful or important a game is, there’s something that everyone needs to realize: these kids are high school students first, and athletes second.

Most students play sports in high school because they enjoy it, not because they’re looking to become an all star pitcher for the New York Yankees or be the point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Students become athletes to have fun, not for the glory of it. Coaches need to realize that while student athletes care about their sport, school should be their first priority.

While taking their sport seriously and practicing hard are important, students do have other time commitments, like studying and sleeping for at least seven hours a night. Coaches need to learn not to push their athletes to the point where they have to sacrifice their schoolwork or their wellbeing.

Some will argue that because of the athletic study hall, student athletes have time during their season to study and stay up to date with their work.However, a 48-minute study hall with no desks and dozens of other kids, like in the athletic study hall, isn’t always the best environment for students to focus.

High school athletics are important in their own way: they teach students how to work with other people to achieve a goal, instill the importance of hard work, and promote exercise and living healthy. Nevertheless, there needs to be a balance between being an athlete and being a student.

While many teachers have become understanding to all of the outside of school commitments students have, there are still a number of coaches who need to understand the commitment student athletes have to their education. Most of these kids won’t be pursuing athletics professionally or even in college. So why do coaches have such high expectations for their students?

High school athletes face a lot of pressure to succeed in sports and school, but some of that pressure is unneeded. High school sports are amateur level sports and should be treated as such. Coaches can’t force their students to put their sport ahead of their education or their sleep because their education is their future, their sport is merely a hobby for most.

Like everything in life, there must be a balance between commitment to education and commitment to athletics. Students should be able to complete their studies and their practices with enough time left to be able to sleep enough to allow them to continue their strenuous schedule. When coaches force their athletes to sacrifice their schoolwork or sleep to practice more, that’s when the line must be drawn.

No student should feel overwhelmed by the amount of time and effort that has to go into performing well in a game. Too much pressure is put on some athletes during their seasons, which makes them underperform in school and they don’t reach their full potential. Coaches need to put less pressure on their athletes and understand that before they are athletes, they are students.