Competitive Athletes: Balancing Sports and School


Ready. Set! The Chelsea cheer team strike’s a pose on the mat

Competitive athletes represent dedication and commitment in the world of sports. But how do they reconcile their passion for their sports with school and their social life? How do you manage to maintain the balance between intense workouts and meaningful interpersonal relationships? Sometimes, the routine during the season for an athlete can be difficult to plan while coinciding with school.

“During [the] sideline season we usually have cheer from five to eight,” varsity sideline and competitive cheerleader Madeline Collins (‘24) said. “I’ll go home and eat, do whatever homework I feel like doing and then I will [go to] practice. During the competitive season we have practices from 3 to 6pm every day after school, so I just go to school and then I’ll go straight there. Then I’ll do homework.”

Often for athletes who want to be successful in their sport and to improve their skills, it is necessary to constantly work and practice with passion and dedication even outside the official season. Varsity softball player Mya Purdy (‘23) trains constantly during the summer to achieve her goals.

“I play travel softball, so I play year round,” Purdy said, “I’ll practice for a team out of Toledo, Ross Perot in Ohio. I drive to Ohio at least twice a week to practice all summer and fall and winter, and then I start the high school softball season.”

When sport becomes so central to a person’s life, it’s easy to forget the importance of taking a break and pursuing other activities. Only by balancing your life can you truly appreciate the sport you love.

“I actually hang out with my friends more in the softball season,” Purdy said, “I hang out with my teammates a lot. When it’s [my] offseason I work four to five days a week so don’t get a lot of time to myself. During the season, it’s a good time for me to hang out with those teammates and build relationships.”

By taking breaks and pursuing other interests, athletes can find the balance they need to truly appreciate their sport while fulfilling their responsibilities both on and off the field. It’s important to prioritize school work and social time, while still dedicating yourself to your passion for athletics. With hard work and determination, it’s possible to manage both sport and academic commitments.