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Student Athletes: to Be Or Not to Be?

Student Life

As students, we find ourselves having a lot of work and assignments because of the classes we choose at school. That means that some students feel as if they have no time for other things besides academics, such as sports. There are many important factors to consider when you are wondering whether to play a sport or not in high school, such as how it might affect you in terms of health and academics. If you are a high school student struggling to decide whether or not you should participate in a sport, then continue reading!

The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Student Athlete

Is it a good idea to play sports in high school? This is a question that many students ask themselves, and unfortunately, the answer isn't black and white. There are so many things to consider when you are trying to figure out if you can fit a sport into your schedule, and sometimes you need to participate in a sport depending on which program you are in at school. But, it is also important to balance your life, since we don't want any negative drastic changes in our school lives and in our health.

Pro: Health Benefits

We all know that participating in sports has numerous health benefits. Depending on the sport, you can receive numerous advantages. However, you will definitely reduce your stress (which is especially useful if you are a high school student), and you will get in an overall better shape. Sports have also shown to reduce many health risks, and while they may not be a predominant concern as a teenager, it is still useful to start exercising early on.

Con: Stress

While there are many health benefits to playing a sport, it can, however, also be an additional stress factor. For example, those who are already overcharged and have too much on their plate might get even more stressed about the fact that they now also have to participate in a sports team. This mostly depends on the kind of person you are. For instance, if you are the type of person to get stressed by sports or relaxed by them.

Stress is usually crucial when playing a sport, because you need that adrenaline to perform well during a game. However, too much stress can lead to increased anxiety and burn-out symptoms. Also, it can lead to lower self-esteem. All of this would not only impact your performance in the sport, but also your academic performance.

Con: Lack of Time

Students are already busy with work and tests, therefore studying takes up most of their time. In some cases, students are already so overwhelmed with the amount of school work that needs to be done, that they always end up falling behind. So, by adding a sport, it can take some time away from those studies, or you might not even have any available space in your schedule to add a sport to it.

As you are deciding whether or not to play in a sports team, look at your schedule and decide if you would be able to commit to it or not. Try to also take into account moments to take breaks or to just spend time having fun, because having a balanced life is key to succeeding in managing both your student life and your athletic life.

Pro: More Friends

Sports are a great way to make new friends, because you all share a similar passion or hobby. You are all already bonding over the sport and you all love it, so you already know that you guys will have something to talk about. Therefore, you can easily start a conversation and make new potential friends. Plus, you will see them often, so you definitely won't be out of touch for long.

You can all work together to achieve various goals, such as winning a tournament, and your team will be a great motivator for you. Once you are good friends with your teammates, not only will that make tournaments more fun, but you will also be able to spend time outside of a sports context!

Con: Lower Academics

Spending too much time on extracurricular activities can have a drastic effect on your grades. If you are the type of person that tries very hard to maintain a high average, then you should probably reconsider joining a sports team. That's because you might end up spending too much time on it, and then having no time whatsoever to study. You might even end up being too exhausted to do any work by the end of the day! However, this depends on you as a student, because many make both work!

Pro: Looks Good On Applications

Whether you are applying to a college, university, or even a job position, sports can improve your chances of getting in or getting hired. That's because being in a sports team shows the employer or the school that you can balance your life well, making time for both academics and sport, but also that you work great in a team and can commit to something!

For instance, if you are trying to apply for a certain job position, here are a few of the numerous advantages that you will have over the other candidates, just because you're a student athlete.

1. You Work Well In A Team

Sports are usually team sports, where you need to work together in order to achieve victories. However, even individual sports, can show team work, since you have to work along with coaches and other competitors. If you have victories with your team, you will definitely be recognized by your potential employer, since you would have shown proof that you work well with others.

2. You Don't Crack Under Pressure

Being able to work under pressure is one of the top qualities that an employer would be looking for. Sports can put a lot of pressure on a person, especially a student who already has a ton of pressure from school.

3. You Demonstrate That You Are Capable Of Committing Long-Term

Employers usually want workers that will commit to their job and stay with the company long-term. If you play a sport and commit to it for over a year, you will show them that you would be the perfect fit for any position.

All these advantages can apply to any other applications, such as college or university applications!

So What Should You Do?

Now that you've seen some of the pros and cons of becoming a student athlete, you can probably make a more informed decision about whether you would be a good fit to be an athlete or not. It all depends on you as a person, since what might work for others, might not for you! At the end of the day, it is most important to choose what makes you happy, and if it is becoming an athlete, then go for it! However, make sure to consider all of the factors of becoming an athlete, so that you don't end up overcharging yourself with work. Since we all know that having time to catch a break is vital for a successful high school or post-secondary career!

Daria D
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Daria is a high school student from Canada. She has a passion for writing and science. She also enjoys reading, learning new languages, swimming, and drawing.