Is being a student-athlete worth it? – YES


Photo courtesy of Dannika Shah

Sophomore Gracie Barco serves the ball during a varsity women’s tennis match last season.

Ryan Wang, Staff Writer

Being a student-athlete can have its benefits and drawbacks
But I believe the benefits of being a student-athlete outweigh any negatives that comes with playing a school sport.
As a member of Cal’s varsity men’s tennis team, many of these aspects apply to me. The skills I learned can also be transferred to daily life.
To start off, the positives of being a student-athlete helped me in many ways both on and off the court. Being a student-athlete helps to train my time management skills, as it is required to be able to balance both academic and athletic commitments. With this soft skill coming in hand, time management is a valuable asset for my future, especially in career and personal relationships.
The way I balance my time with tennis and school is to do my schoolwork as much as possible when I have free time during school or on the weekends, as practices take up more than eight hours of the week. To be able to juggle this is key to having a successful high school career.
Based on my experience, engaging in regular physical activity as an athlete helps maintain physical health, which in turn can benefit mental health. Better mental health can not only improve my performance as an athlete but in overall life as well, tying in with balancing school and sports.
As published in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, physical activity will improve overall cognitive function and brain health, along with a reduced risk of anxiety and depression.
There is also a possibility of earning scholarship opportunities as a student-athlete. Being successful as a student-athlete can open up many opportunities, helping students with the financial aspect of life in the future, such as college.
As the annual cost of college in America averages from $30,000-$50,000, full-ride scholarships can cover all fees and costs related to attending college. Even partial scholarships can cover a great portion of the costs for tuition and fees, course-related books, room, board, and living expenses.
Leadership and teamwork are also crucial parts of being a student-athlete. Individuals often take on leadership roles within their teams. Being a part of a team helps students learn how to work together to achieve a common goal.
I personally benefited, along with my whole team, by being supportive and providing advice to teammates prior to matches. Our teamwork and communication helped us win matches.
Branching from teamwork and leadership, goal setting comes into play. Pursuing both academic and athletic goals requires students to set specific, measurable goals and work toward achieving them, which allows students to make great memories along the way. This skill is highly valuable in any area of life.
Being a student-athlete offers a range of benefits other than just the physical aspects of playing a sport. It can help students develop important life skills and open up opportunities for further academic and career success.