A Day in the Life of a High School Athlete: What it’s Like to Balance School and Sports

Dana Colston, Newspaper Writer

High school: a maze full of twists and turns. Being a student-athlete can add extra obstacles to the maze. Maggie Manders, a sophomore and soccer player at Lovejoy High School, gives us insight into what it’s like to be a high school athlete and how she navigates the difficulties.

“An average ‘A’ day begins with going to my three face-to-face classes. After my 5th period, I go outside to the soccer field and practice for an hour and forty five minutes. If it is Monday or Wednesday, I will head to club practice [after school practice],” says Manders. “Typically I finish my homework during the school day because of the extended class time. If I do not finish my homework, I will work on it after…practice. On an average ‘B’ day, I may have a school practice in the morning for an hour. I may also have a club practice in the evening,”

Maggie has been playing soccer for eleven years, competing in club soccer for nine years, as well as school soccer for four years. She has played for multiple different club teams over the years but currently plays for the Dallas Texans Soccer Club and the Lovejoy High School Varsity team. 

Manders states, “During the club season, my practices are Monday and Wednesday for an hour and thirty minutes to two hours depending on what the focus in that specific practice is. My soccer schedule can be extremely busy one week but relaxed and easy the next.” 

Maggie stays motivated to do her best in both school and soccer by focusing on her goals and what she can improve. She wants to perform well in both fields and tries to find balance.

“Sometimes I have such a busy schedule and I have a hard time staying productive and managing school work,” Manders says. “Soccer is a very important part of my life, but school work comes first. If I were to have a devastating injury and soccer was all I had, I would be left with nothing. If I build up my soccer career along with my academic career, I have something to lean on.”

Manders says that it’s important to work hard in academics, but it’s also important to take time for yourself and enjoy high school. 

“A few tips I would give to someone going into high school…are to create short term and long term goals,” says Maggie. “Writing goals are crucial to self growth and becoming the best athlete, student, and person you can become. Second, always put your maximum amount of effort into anything you do. If you want to improve athletically, you need to push yourself mentally and physically. And lastly, have fun and keep an open mind. While high school is a big deal, you should always have fun with friends. You should meet new people, and don’t focus on just one thing. There are many ways we can improve ourselves and high school is the best place to do it”

With less than two years of high school under her belt, Maggie Manders efficiently reaches for both her academic and athletic goals through hard work.