Sports: finding a balance


High school is difficult within itself, but for some students sports can add additional stress.  

Teens are encouraged to get involved in sports and other after school activities. However, they begin to struggle when it causes problems with their grades.

Times for practices can vary from sport to sport. For some, such as volleyball and basketball , practices can be from 2 to 3 hours every day of the week. This can lead to less focus in class and falling behind.

“I have practice every day, except Sunday, for about three hours,” said Brandon Gray, a senior on the varsity basketball team. “I try to spend about three and a half hours on homework, but that means I don’t get to sleep until about 1:30 or 2 a.m.”

This is unusual for students on sports teams. Most players spend little time on homework, so that they have more time to sleep. John M.D. Kremer’s book Young People’s Involvement in Sports says “.. there is evidence that time spent on sports was replacing time doing homework, and sporting activities seemed to be replacing some work activities.” However, doing this leads to less focus in class and lower test grades.

“My season starts at the beginning of football season and doesn’t finish until the end of basketball season, which is about seven months,” said Danyelle Owens, a sophomore on the JV Cheerleading squad. Like Gray, she also has trouble with balancing her team and schoolwork. “During the season I only get to do about 40 minutes of homework a night, and my grades drop tremendously”.

When asked how their grades changed after their season ended, the reply was the same .

“My grades definitely improve,” they said.

This balance is hard for most students, but for some it may come naturally . Everyone is different.

For students on the other end of the spectrum, playing a sport makes them more disciplined and focused when it comes to schoolwork. “ During the season, running helps my grades because after practice I get home and don’t have time to procrastinate on my work . I spend less time sitting around doing useless things and more time on my homework because I know I need to focus, “ said Lane Hering, who runs cross-country, indoor, and outdoor track.

“Have a set time for schoolwork and do as much as you can,” Owens said. “Balancing the two can be difficult, but if you keep focused and work harder during the on-season you will be more successful.”


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