The Arrow Tips with Shelby: Handling School and Sports

One of the most stressful challenges students face is trying to balance good grades and their favorite sportKeeping your priorities straight is one of the biggest words of advice from coaches, trainers, doctors, and athletes.    

Clay Frost is a mental training expert, who holds master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology from the University of Utah. He believes that student athletes should be more worried about checking off boxes in school than going to practice. His big idea is that being good at sports does you no good in the long run if you do not have good grades. Lots of athletes convince themselves that their grades do not matter if they are really good at sport 

“There is a reason you are called a student-athlete and not an athlete-student, John Cook, Nebraska Volleyball Coach, said in a USA Today column titled “Do Grades Really Matter If I’m a Good Athlete?”. 

“Good students are disciplined; they do their homework and usually have great time-management skills. If they’re making great decisions all week long in the classroom, they’re probably going to make great decisions in a match when it matters most, Cook said.  

Although keeping your priorities straight is necessarythere are other things you can do to stay on top of things. These include taking advantage of any free time, not getting behind, not procrastinatingplanning your week before the week starts, getting organized, and staying organized. These things little will all help you in the end with both school and sports.  

Senior Ayden Watson has been on the varsity basketball team since he enrolled at Sequoyah his sophomore year. He thinks that a student’s grades play a major role in their high school experience, no matter how athletic they are. 

“My word of advice to student-athletes is that keeping up your grades is just as important as putting in the work; finding the balance is very important in trying to find success as a studentathlete... playing sports is definitely one of my motivators for keeping good grades,” Watson said. 

Attending class and paying attention is important when you are attempting to manage both grades and athletics; Watson has found this to be true in his high school years 

“I do not do anything special [to stay ahead of school]. I just do my work and pay attention in class, and the grades usually come with it,” Watson said. 

Sequoyah has been known for having a great student section and catching the eye of fans at athletic events, and our athletes see this as a major motivation 

“The atmosphere at Sequoyah, I think, would make any athlete want to strive to be the best they can for sure,” Watson said 

Not only did one of Sequoyahs star basketball players Ayden Watson feel this way, but so did sophomore Taylor Pecht, a second-year varsity volleyball player, who had so many positive things to say about her beloved sport.  

Pecht has a very positive outlook on her time in the Sequoyah Volleyball program, and she is thankful she can turn to it on a bad day.  

“My word of advice is to make your sport your stress reliever. It should be what you look forward to in a bad day. And do not procrastinate. Being a studentathlete is hard, and not being on top of your work makes it miserable,” Pecht said 

Pecht agrees with Watson about pushing themselves in both school and sports, and how much it helps them long term 

“I absolutely think playing sports pushes me to work harder,” Pecht said. 

Some students can stay ahead of work without anything special, but Pecht has a very organized way to be ahead.  

I always have a running list of what needs to be done in school and try to get [things] done whenever I have free time. Sunday nights help me get back on track, and lunch periods help me finish last minute work,” Pecht said 

Along with Watson’s perspective of the basketball atmosphere, Pecht agrees on how it feels to be surrounded by students at a volleyball game.  

“Especially if my peers are there, it helps get everyone going; wearing a Sequoyah jersey gives you a good reason to play hard, but having a Sequoyah community around you makes you want to play even harder,” Pecht said. 

Being a teen already is stressful enough, and when you add sports and schoolwork, it only gets worse. If you have an effective way to manage your responsibilities and keep your priorities straight, high school will be much more enjoyable.