by Meghna Kumar
A ubiquitous challenge faced by many high school students is balancing homework with sports. Staying up late, studying for exams, and simply focusing after an arduous day of practice is difficult, and the consensus seems to be that success can only be achieved in one or the other: that you must choose between being an excellent athlete or an exceptional student. But this is a false notion and has been proved wrong by many students at Bellbrook High School.
Marisa Werts, salutatorian for the Class of 2014, was a cross country athlete sophomore through senior year. She also played tennis and ran track as a freshman. When asked about how she stayed motivated after demanding practices and meets, Marisa stated, “School was always my first priority, which meant it was really important that I enjoyed the sport I was in. Because of this, I was more motivated and willing to make sure everything fit into my schedule. To avoid being overwhelmed and stressed with schoolwork at midnight, I made sure to work efficiently throughout the day. If I knew I had a meet or hard practice that day, I was more willing to utilize my downtime in class, bus rides, and pre-meet times with homework or studying, instead of talking.”
Marisa also advised, “There will most likely be a time when you’re overwhelmed. During these times, don’t be afraid to talk to your coaches and teachers and ask for a shorter practice or an extra day to study or complete homework. From my experience, they’re usually sympathetic as long as you don’t take advantage of them and work hard on other days.”
Kevin Conley, who was ranked in the top ten of the Class of 2014, swam for the Bellbrook High School Swim Team all four years of high school. When asked about how he balanced his strenuous course load while being an athlete, Conley stated, “You have to be able to balance both things, so I usually got my work done before practice. Don’t take one to excess, try to strike a balance. Don’t put too much time into one, that you neglect the other.”
Overall, the consensus seems to be that the key to balancing schoolwork with sports is time management and avoiding procrastination.