Student-Athlete Life

By Brayden Phillips, Journalist


Being a student-athlete is a very hard lifestyle to balance. Being great at the sport you compete in takes hours of dedication to work and focus on the weekends and during the week. School requires time, focus, and participation to succeed in the system. There are many students that try to balance school work and athletics.

Grant Dunn, a tennis player at Greenwood High School, tells about how his life balancing being an athlete and a student has changed and is affected. Grant’s motivation to stay balancing these two activities is his love for the game of tennis, and he said “I just enjoy the game of tennis. It’s nice to be outside.” Tennis is one of the most active sports with constant sprinting, sweating, and physical activity. Grant has lost weight and gotten more muscular since he started playing tennis at Greenwood. Tennis has inspired Grant to start attending the gym. He uses the gym to improve his game, and succeed at higher levels. Grades are arguably the most critical thing inside the school system. Grant’s grades haven’t been affected much when it comes to balancing being a student-athlete. He has gotten good at using his time in school and outside of practice wisely to finish his homework, however, he still struggles to do so. “I have to manage my time to finish my time a lot more than I had to in the past. It is much harder now than it was without playing tennis,” Grant says. Finding extra time for his assignments is hard to do, and Grant has to give up his free time at home to sometimes finish his assignments.

Cole Phillips is a Gator basketball player attending Greenwood High School. Cole thinks about “the benefits you’ll have later in life and as you continue to grow up,” as his motivation to continue playing basketball in the midst of being a full-time student. Cole loves to give advice to people who struggle with balancing the two different lives. He shared, “You gotta prioritize what’s important and make time for each. You just have to have the discipline to do it.” Relationships are one of the essential things in someone’s life. Family and friends can interfere with being a student-athlete. It can be hard to decide whether or not you should set those relationships aside and focus on your sport or school instead of indulging in those other activities. Cole describes how relationships interfere with his life and what he does to defend against that. He says, “Sometimes you gotta sacrifice spending time with your friends to do the things that really matter. Sports are hard to do while having other relationships outside of the sport, and you just have to put time into the sport over other things to succeed.” 

Gary Zheng is one of the best tennis players Greenwood has to offer. He is also a very intelligent, and successful student. His sport usually interferes with his schoolwork. Gary needs help finding time to do his homework because he gets home late from practice and the gym. “Myself. I have helped myself the most,” Gary says. Gary is self-disciplined, responsible, and hard-working, which are all qualities a successful tennis players have. Many obstacles arise when balancing two different worlds. Tennis players work to compete in matches and they are what makes a tennis player a proper tennis player. Gary’s matches come in the way of his schoolwork during the season. Matches occur directly after school, and most of the time is on the road which leaves little time for homework, studying, and after-school assignments. Gary is a varsity athlete, and he has multiple matches during the week, which causes him to have to manage his time wisely and finish his assignment in his free time.