Sports Impact on Student Athletes


Maya Rodriguez, Staff Writer

Over half of all high school students in the U.S. played on at least one school sports team in the past year, according to Holly Peele and Maya Riser-kositsky at Education Week. Sports can help offer a wide variety of a skill sets, from an increase in physical activity, such as managing hand eye coordination, improving your everyday strength, and even reducing the risk of disease. 

Participating in a sport can improve your mental state as well, studies have shown that exercise helps your body release endorphins, which causes your brain to relieve you of pain and stress.

“I feel better both physically and mentally during the soccer season,” said Kamryn Walker, a soccer player. Sports overall have a positive effect on students, and in addition can improve the academic performance of students.

Despite having a wide variety of beneficial impacts upon students, there is also a downside to doing a sport. Ironically, in the same way that a sport can help relieve you from pain and stress, it can also be a big factor in adding to them. Fear of not being able to meet a certain standard made by your coach or even yourself can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in a student. Smaller amounts of stress are healthy and can assist in getting you to overcome that challenge. However, too much stress can cause a major negative effect if that stress becomes overwhelming. 

Trying to obtain a balance with sports along with school and life isn’t an easy thing to do. By focusing too much on one thing, the other aspects of your life can suffer because of it. Athletics in high school typically range from ten to twelve hours a week, and the school day is roughly seven hours. So when a day or multiple days are missed because of sports meets, it can increase the anxiety students get about trying to keep up with their academics. Managing  grades in order to compete is already stressful enough, so when a student has to make up work on account of being gone for a sport, the cycle can be demanding.

Micah Colling, a Cross Country runner, said, “The most stressful thing for me is competing at my very best while missing school and then coming back to do missing work.” 

Colling went on to add “My favorite thing about competing is the feeling of work paying off and the feeling of being part of the community, having that feeling outweighs the work. When I have a race, school is the last thing in my head, like I don’t remember it exists.”  

In spite of what happens, many athletes do believe that the good that comes with doing a sport outweighs the bad, because there are 7.6 million high school students in the U.S. that do a sport.