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Essay on The Balancing Act: A Journey into the Life of a Student Athlete

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An average day for freshman football player Greyson Felner consists of an eight hour school day, three hour sports practice, two hour homework load, and maybe, if he has time, an one or so hour block of free time. However, these are just statistics, and they vary far and wide depending on the particular student. This then begs the question: How does a student manage both school and sports? What are their universal thoughts and worries and joys in relation to this?

When asked, each student athlete is more than capable of listing a slew of joys they experience in relation to being on a high school sports team. Emily Calhoun, a Freshman on the Varsity Volleyball team, laughingly admitted that, ”It's nice to be known around school.” She also took the time to explain that being an athlete in high school is probably the best experience she could ever have because her teammates became something like a second family.

Calhoun, however, is not alone in her opinion. Freshman cross country runner Clark Bowden also stated that, “I loved running cross country. It helped me get through the first part of high school and I had a ton of fun.”

These opinions are neither limited to person, nor are they limited to age. Senior Joel Choi says of golf, “It's a very time consuming sport [golf], but if you put in the right practice, it's very rewarding.”

Even coaches understand the significant role that being on a sports team plays in the life of a student athlete. Madison Varsity Golf coach Derrick Rauenzahn denoted that, “... athletes find sports fun and enjoyable, and they actually reduce stress, and increase healthy social skills.”

Nonetheless, along with these joys come consequences that many student athletes struggle to deal with. Many sacrifice...


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...deal about organization and time management. He recounted how playing sports helped develop him as a professional adult.

“A lot of it comes down to students’ grit. It is well known that sports, and other extracurriculars such as band, chorus, and drama, help foster students’ grit development.” added Coach Rauenzahn in congruence with what being a successful student athlete boiled down to.

Being a student athlete, although rigorous and strenuous, is completely worth the time and effort, because in the end, what is acquired from a high school sports experience is substantially more than meets the eye. A game that one loves becomes the foundation from which vital life skills are honed and gained.
“There has never been something I have been more proud to be a part of. I am sincerely grateful and blessed to be a Madison student athlete.” Amber Liu (Varsity Golf, ‘16).


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