The Balancing Game of a Student-Athlete

February 3, 2022

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A student stands alone holding books and notebooks while wearing white-wired headphones.

This article originally appeared in Eastlake High School’s ‘Eastlake Edge’ in December 2021. It has been lightly edited for republication.

Among Eastlake High School students, there are those who have and are partaking in the school’s various sports teams. Being part of any team requires dedication and consistency to always come out on top once the season kicks off. On top of that, these are student-athletes who have to find a balance between their athleticism and their academics. To better understand how our student-athletes achieve this once the season starts, we interviewed Luna Vargas from the girl’s soccer team and Cole Friesen from the boy’s Soccer team.

We first interviewed Luna Vargas who is a senior on the team. 

“I prepare mentally and physically before the season starts by training on my own outside of school,”said Vargas. “I prioritize cross-fit, as it helps me improve my speed. I usually do sprints with weights on my legs and time myself to keep a record of my improvement.”

When asked about her participation in the girl’s soccer team, Vargas said, “Me and my team train 5 times a week, Monday through Friday. It really does not affect my academics because I know how to balance school and soccer. If I know I have games coming up, I make sure I finish my homework in class or ask for an extension for deadlines or test retakes ahead of time. I have been handling both academics and sports my whole life, so I know how to handle it and put 100% in each.”

Before finishing the interview, Vargas offered her advice to troubled or aspiring athletes on how to deal with the pressure. 

“Make sure when you commit to something, always follow through with it. And know how to balance school and sports because you don’t want to get distracted and start falling behind, as it makes you fall behind in both.”

Cole Friesen is a senior on the boy’s soccer team. He shared his experience with us saying “I train soccer on my own in the field, 5 times a week. I also go into the gym to do mostly upper body and leg.”

When asked about the impact being on the boy’s soccer team has on school, Friesen said “I usually train with my team four days per week, and it does interfere a little bit. I do have to take a lot of time for soccer and training, so I don’t have much time left. It is definitely more difficult doing both. I feel it is definitely doable, but a little bit harder. I always try to get my homework and stuff done. If I have practice after school, I go from practice to doing my homework right away instead of doing something else. I always try to get that stuff done.”

Cole’s last statement was directed to any student-athlete or soon-to-be-athlete student who may struggle to balance these two fields: “Take your academics seriously, if not more seriously than your sports; that would benefit you more in the long run.”

By Nico Hernandez, Eastlake High School | Class of 2022

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