Stress of Student-Athletes

The struggle of juggling between school and sports add stress upon students causing them to not perform at their best which can lead to bad grades, poor sports performance and impact their day to day behavior.

Student-athletes should get more time on homework and more time to take tests in their classes especially during competition season since this can be especially stressful for athletes. I feel as a student-athlete myself, the stress of having practice and getting home late to start doing hours of homework is very hard, not only on me physically but mentally. Such as being tired in class and not being able to focus, having cramps in my legs making it harder to sit and get up to go to my classes.

An estimated 31.9% of adolescents have some form of an anxiety disorder. The amount of depression and anxiety in high school athletes has risen over the past 10 to 15 years, and many student-athletes have higher levels of stress and negative emotions than non-student athletes. That extra hour of practice adds so much stress when you have four hours of homework to deal with.

Many other student-athletes may feel the same way, especially those who play contact sports such as football, lacrosse, baseball/softball, and soccer. With all the hits coming with playing sports, one only thinks of what it is like to have to go home after a long game and then work on homework or study for a test.

 Not only are student-athletes stressed but they are also very sleep deprived as said by Marshall Mintz, a New Jersey-based sports psychologist in “Why Are So Many Teen Athletes Struggling With Depression?”,. “The biggest problem is sleep loss—all these kids are sleep-deprived, and this becomes a major contributor to anxiety and depression,” Mintz said.

The stress of knowing this can affect not only the performance at the game but also the performance in the classroom. Thus with this being said, students are given the option of getting an additional one to two days to complete, turn in homework, and the possibility of getting extra time to take big tests and quizzes and postpone small tests or quizzes to help reduce the stress.

Although some may say this is no different from the students who take multiple A.P. classes or have to work. They may say that it is unfair for just the athletic student to get specialized treatments for homework when their child is working a job or has harder classes. But they also don’t have to go through as much physical work compared to athletes. If I was a parent of a child who worked and they came home and talked about another child in their class who got to postpone a quiz because they had a game and did not get home till ten while my child works every night and does not get back till 10:30 or 11 and they do not get the same option, I would be mad. Nevertheless, student-athletes may have it harder due to the number of hits and hours of physical work they have to go through even before going to a game. Not to mention there’s the pressure that’s put on them by not only their coaches but the school to win the games, thus making it harder for them to focus on their work.

Let’s take a stand and help students athletes reduce the level of stress in their life.