Athletes Struggle to Balance it All

Cuyler McCorkindale, Editor

Freshman Declan Boyle represents those students who struggle to balance school work with sports.
Erin Hogge
Freshman Declan Boyle represents those students who struggle to balance school work with sports.

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Every serious athlete has had to make sacrifices. At Kettle Run, the story is no different.

Throughout their careers, athletes sacrifice social time and school time in order to pursue athletic excellence. Why? Because if you really love something, you’d do anything for it.

In high school sports, the chance of playing in college can be as low as 5 percent, so for a high school athlete to have the privilege to play college sports, they have to spend hours of their own time training.

Senior Bhayle Kearns plans to play Division I soccer at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. He shares how he balances time between sports and school.

“I have practices a few times a week, later at night, so it gives me time for other stuff like homework,” Kearns explained. “You really have to balance your school work with your sport because if you don’t, one or the other will severely suffer.”

According to multiple sports sources from The Odyssey Online and Buzzfeed, athletes who aim to be successful in their sports often have to deal with more than just homework and practice. Most of them have to sacrifice social time with friends and family to train for ongoing hours in the day. Those who simply wish to be good athletes will most likely not find success if they do not sacrifice time for extensive training. This training may become physically strenuous and take a toll on the body, and one’s mind.

Some high school sports, like wrestling, require more extensive training than other sports. Athletes who wish to be successful at sports like wrestling often have to sacrifice much more time to train than athletes of less physically strenuous sports.

Senior Caden Lody trains every day for hours just to try and get the edge on his competition for this upcoming wrestling season.

“I always think 80 percent of pushing yourself physically starts with mental attitude,” Lody stated. “Pushing yourself is limited to how you think and what you’re willing to put into your sport. In the offseason, I practice four times a week, challenging myself with state-level competition because I know I need that to get better.”

Lody lifts weights five days a week and studies film. “I sacrifice everyday life of a typical high school student and go even further than most athletes because I don’t want to be good; Iwant to be great,” Lody said. “I work the way I do to win my state title this year, and I will work for the peace of mind that going into every match, I will win.”

Senior Liz Keefer is an athletic trainer and an athlete. She is a trainer for football in the fall, plays basketball in the winter, and soccer in the spring. Keefer has a unique perspective on how athletes endure their struggles, and the mental fortitude they need to persevere. “As a trainer dealing with injuries, I work to help the injured athlete calm down and work in all aspects to get them better,” Keefer said.

“As an athlete, I try to stay positive and push myself within limits to get myself back on the field. To mentally prepare myself, I listen to music and think about what I can do to help my teammates have a positive outcome.”

Although good athletes make sports look easy, these athletes want others to know it takes hard work, dedication and sacrifice to make it to the next level.