By Jada Crockett, Class of 2023
This story originally appeared in the January 2020 Rowland Hall Gazette. It has been updated for Fine Print.
Wake up at 6:30, eat breakfast and get ready for school at 7:15, leave for school at 7:25, go to school from 8:15 to 3:05, practice soccer from 6 to 8, get home at 8:30, do homework, eat dinner, and go to bed.
That is a daily routine for me. Being a student-athlete requires time management, good communication, and organizational skills. We have many things to juggle on our schedules, and we don’t always have a lot of time for friends, family, or schoolwork.
To show how we fit it all in, I interviewed four student-athletes who play soccer at Rowland Hall. I chose to interview soccer players because the sport is played year-round and is very time-consuming. I discovered that they have all learned how to manage their time differently but successfully.
|Teams:||Rowland Hall, USA Metro|
Camryn devotes three and a half hours to soccer practice per week. When I asked her how she manages her time as a student-athlete, she said, “I always put school first.” I am on the same club team as Camryn, and our coach always tells us that we have to put school first, even if as a result we miss practice. I also asked her how being an athlete makes her a better person. She said, “It is easier to communicate. When I am on the field, I talk a lot and I transfer that to everyday life.” I would have to agree with this. We have to talk to our teachers more about missing school, and we talk to many coaches, players, and teammates. It is necessary to talk on the field to tell your teammate what to do, when someone is right behind them, to get wide or to come in closer, or even just, “Good job.” This relates to talking to people in everyday life, because talking on the field makes you more comfortable talking to people outside of sports.
|Teams:||Rowland Hall, USA Metro|
Aimar also devotes three and a half hours a week to soccer. She plans ahead in order to manage her time with her crazy schedule. I asked her how she is different from her friends who don’t play sports, and she said, “I don’t hang out with my friends as much as they hang out with each other.” Sports are very time-consuming, and you need to have an organized schedule, which sometimes makes you lose time for your friends. Aimar said that sports give her a different perspective on life.
|Teams:||Rowland Hall, La Roca, Olympic Development Program|
I think it is easier to be an athlete because you develop more confidence—we are used to the pressure of our sports and many people coming to watch our events. In my opinion, I am not as scared to mess up in front of people because I already have.
Jesus devotes 16 hours a week to his sport. He said that he has developed good time management, and he tries not to waste any free time. “Athletes are more confident, fit, have better mindsets, and are more interesting,” he told me. Staying fit is a key component of being an athlete, and it takes a lot of time. You have to make healthy food choices, practice with your team, and take time to practice on your own. I think it is easier to be an athlete because you develop more confidence—we are used to the pressure of our sports and many people coming to watch our events. In my opinion, I am not as scared to mess up in front of people because I already have. That is also why we have better mindsets. We are under pressure all the time and mess up daily. I think that because of this, we look at the positives and have a better mindset. And athletes are interesting because it is fun to learn about their sports and their backgrounds, like how they started and their inspiration.
|Team:||Park City Soccer Club; in addition to soccer, Mason skis for Rowmark Ski Academy|
Mason spends around 28 hours a week playing and training for his sports. When I asked Mason how he manages his time, he said, “You have to be efficient when working on school when time is limited. Also, communicating with teachers becomes very important.” He stays busy all of the time and has limited time to hang out with his friends. “Being an athlete has shown me that nothing is given and everything is earned, and that is also relevant in school. Being an athlete has shown me how to be respectful, part of a team, and committed to something that I love.” Commitment is necessary in order to become successful, and a very good trait for life because you have to stay committed in a relationship, to a schedule, and to many more things that you want to devote your time to.
Student-athletes require good time management that can be practiced in many different ways. There are many factors to becoming a successful student-athlete, and people handle it differently. Even though it is stressful at times, I always have enough time to spend with family and friends and to get everything done that I need to. In my opinion, being a student-athlete makes us better in the long run because we have to plan everything early, communicate with more people (including those older than us), stay committed to the important things in our lives, and do work in a limited time.
Top photo: Jada Crockett playing soccer for Rowland Hall.