Benefits of being a student-athlete and what it takes to be a successful one

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Benefits of being a student-athlete and what it takes to be a successful one

Tyler Schwarzman, Sports Editor

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Speaking from my own personal experience, one of the most enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding opportunities to take advantage of here at MASH is to become a student-athlete. Here is why you should be one, and how you can be a great one.

Benefit #1: Developing Sound Personal Qualities

Getting involved in high school athletics allows students to develop responsibility and loyalty. In addition, playing for a high school team, or multiple, teaches and helps adolescents gain a broader understanding of concepts like perseverance, teamwork, and commitment. As Jr. Logan Nutt put it, student-athletes “are put in a position where [they] have to decide what is important to [them] sooner than most other teenagers.”

Benefit #2: Improving Physical and Emotional Health

Due to the physical demands of practices, games, and off-season workouts, which occur almost daily throughout the entire year, student-athletes are able to develop and maintain muscle and physical stamina, which allow their bodies to be energized and physically prepared for competition. Also, participating in sports releases chemicals and hormones like endorphins and adrenaline, which, in a nutshell, fight off depression and stress.

Benefit #3: Learning Time Management

Balancing practices, games, film viewing sessions, team dinners, and award nights, on top of all the crazy life events of a teenager, pushes one’s time management skills to the max. Consequently, student-athletes, who are forced to maximize and control their use of time, usually succeed more in the classroom, on the field, and in life.

Benefit #4: Creating Connections

Finally, becoming a student-athlete will most likely introduce one to new people that share similar interests, hobbies, and passions. This, in return, will definitely create friendships that can last a lifetime.

Tip #1: Developing Relationships is Key

Establishing quality, personal relationships with coaches is vital to the success of a student-athlete. Believe or not, they are the wisest members of the team, especially since they have most likely been a student-athlete before. Pick their brain whenever possible, and reach out to them when struggling. Remember that coaches care and not only want the team to do well, but also want to see each individual succeed as well. Otherwise, they would not be there.

On the same note, bond with teammates. It leads to a social life and the creation of friendships. It also will eliminate jealousy, as well as foster encouragement and dedication. The most closely-knit teams are those that work the hardest and have the most fun together (and win the most).

Tip #2: Establish a Daily Routine

A daily routine keeps one’s daily schoolwork, sporting events, and social life in order, as well as guides one’s daily endeavours in a positive manner. It also helps reduce stress and feeling overwhelmed. Organization is key.

Tip #3: Sleep

Rest is your best friend. Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night, throughout the entire week. It is possible, I promise. Its benefits are too plentiful to list in this article, but, more importantly, sleep replenishes an athlete for game day.

Tip #4: Eat

Food is your second best friend. Eat healthy, and a lot. According to USA Today, “Every student-athlete should be eating at least three meals a day,” but, if you ask me, shoot for four or five. Some great, tasty suggestions of foods include trail mix, chocolate milk, and lean protein meals. Oh, and carbo-load after (not before) the big game.

*BONUS* Tip #5: Do Your Best

Nutt wanted to remind all the student-athletes out there to not “place too much pressure on [themselves]. [They] just have to take advantage of the opportunities [they] get and enjoy all the memories and moments [they] create.” She hit the nail on the head with this one. Student-athletes will play their best when stress free and not worrying about messing up.

In closing, beyond the literal physical and characteristic benefits that will be provided, becoming and/or being a student-athlete introduces high schoolers to new people and experiences that will bring laughs and tears, as well as refine their moral character. Nutt is a firm believer that being a student-athlete “forces you to become the best version of yourself.” Indeed it does.