The Ups and Downs of Being a Student-Athlete

Students share what it is like being a student-athlete at Elkhorn North.


Photo by Brandon Urbano

Grace Heaney and Grace Thompson talking while watching the game.

Student-athletes have two main stressors in their lives: school and sports. While it may seem like those two things are the only things these students have to worry about, that is far from the truth. These hard workers have friends,  a family and plenty of other things to worry about other than school and sports. 

People of this caliber are very strong-minded people. They stress about getting homework done and doing good at practice, but when it is all said and done they push themselves to the limit. School can make it mentally draining to keep up with all of the school work that is thrown at them.

“I feel like with school, it’s more mentally exhausting and with sports is more physically exhausting,” Freshman Skyler Cooley said.

The most common entity for getting burnt out contains a lot of practicing with very little recovery. Athletes have so much adrenaline that keeps them going when they play a sport, but what they do not realize is that they do not allow themselves the recovery time that they need. 

“I try to do my best and get enough sleep and do ice baths throughout the year with Kyle, but it is hard to always keep up with that,” Junior Grace Heaney said.

Junior Grace Heaney at the state volleyball tournament in Lincoln. Heaney jumps to block the ball. (Photo by Tara Binte Sharil)

Students still enjoy taking the classes and playing the sports they do because of the special bond they make with their teammates and classmates. Making friends on the field or in the classroom can help to motivate that person in particular. 

“I do sports because I love playing them and it is fun to be with my friends on the field and I still do classes because I want to be able to push myself in the classroom and have a chance to earn credits for college,” Senior Brady Vaughn said. 

The continuous movement of the body can cause a lot of unwanted strain and pain. Being burnt out can be a cause of being hurt as well. Athletes are pushing themselves to the limit while keeping up with school work. Injuries are prone to pop up whenever they feel like it. This can cost an athlete’s season since not enough time is spent recovering. 

Brady Vaughn lining up just before the snap. Vaughn pondering the next play. (Photo by Brandon Urbano)

Student-athletes have a drive to be busy. They are constantly on the move and exploring every single day. This can also cause stress or injuries because they are not taking the time to take care of their bodies. 

“I love being busy. Even if it takes up a lot of my time it still gives me things to do and I enjoy it,” Heaney said.

It is important that these student-athletes understand and know the importance of why they may be getting burnt out. These students must educate themselves about the risks they are taking while they are in school and in a sport or multiple sports.