Student athletes work hard to play hard

Students discuss the challenges of having a demanding academic and athletic schedules

Hansen+takes+a+break+from+a+long+tennis+practice.+Hansen+was+the+first+singles+player+on+boys%E2%80%99+tennis+this+year.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Student athletes work hard to play hard

Hansen takes a break from a long tennis practice. Hansen was the first singles player on boys’ tennis this year.

Hansen takes a break from a long tennis practice. Hansen was the first singles player on boys’ tennis this year.

Joey Matsuzawa

Hansen takes a break from a long tennis practice. Hansen was the first singles player on boys’ tennis this year.

Joey Matsuzawa

Joey Matsuzawa

Hansen takes a break from a long tennis practice. Hansen was the first singles player on boys’ tennis this year.

Julian Willnow and Kyra Bilgic

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Checking the time, senior Tobin Hansen realizes that if he wants to make band roll call on time he has to win his tennis match in under two hours. With the weight of his chaotic schedule resting on his shoulders, he prepares himself for a difficult match. It is moments like this that contribute to the chaos of Hansen’s life.

Balancing sports practice, a rigorous academic schedule and school clubs isn’t exactly easy, but it is the reality for many student athletes like Hansen.

“It is physically and mentally fatiguing,” Hansen said.

Hansen is a man of many talents; he must balance being an IB student, a Model United Nations co-president, a tennis captain and also the senior drum major in band. Along with many other student athletes, he works hard to find this balance between his academic and athletic schedules.

“Tennis practices are two-and-a half hours long every day, band practices are three hours long every Wednesday and playing at football games is another five hours.” Hansen said, “I end up starting my homework at about 10 or 11 every night.”

Having such a busy schedule comes at a price, Hansen said, and as a result, his grades have been negatively affected.

“Fall is a marathon sprint and the rest of the semester is picking up the pieces,” Hansen said. “Picking up grades is the hardest part.”

Hansen isn’t the only student dealing with such a difficult schedule.

Junior Rebecca Ledsham is a dedicated piano player, a member of the girls varsity cross country team and a full IB student. With such a challenging academic schedule and demanding sports practice times, there is rarely a free moment.

“I spend all my free time catching up on things I haven’t had the chance to do,” Ledsham said. “I’m constantly worrying about whether I will be able to finish everything.”

Ledsham is one of the few students that has to deal with a chaotic schedule both semesters, being a two season athlete as a member of both cross country and track and field.

“The hardest part is balancing track and studying for finals. [Spring] is definitely a stressful time of the year,” Ledsham said.

For these students, though, quitting sports is not an option.

“Running is more important to me personally, but school is important for my future,” Ledsham said.  

Ledsham is not the only one who feels that way.

“Everything I do is in the fall; Band, MUN, tennis and this year, I also have college applications,” Hansen said. “[Fall] is death by all the things that I love, but at the same time, I feel the happiest.”

Not only does the intense schedule of athletes like Hansen and Ledsham demand good time management skills, but it also requires extreme dedication.
“I would never consider quitting cross country, but I have considered quitting school,” Ledsham said.

For Ledsham the running doesn’t end with the cross country season. After placing 16th at State Ledsham has qualified to take part in the upcoming Nike Borderclash invitational in Oregon.

But sports aren’t all just fun and games, extracurriculars are a time consuming venture that demand enthusiasm, Hansen said.

“Do something you are passionate about, and evaluate why you’re doing it,” Hansen said. “Don’t just do it for checkboxes for college.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email