A letter to student athletes

The Miami Hurricanes prepare for a game.

Mark Light (Wikipedia)

The Miami Hurricanes prepare for a game.

Carson Knebel, Student Life Editor

Dear student athletes,

In a world where you’re expected to perform in sports and get good grades in the classroom all while maintaining a healthy social life, it is easy to become overwhelmed. When you’re constantly performing in the spotlight with high expectations, it feels like the weight of the world is resting on your shoulders. 

As high school athletes, we are expected to get good grades and set a good example for younger athletes looking up to us. This can be extremely difficult when you have countless assignments piling up, and the feeling of duress begins to set in.

When you let all of these pile up, anxiety will hit you. Anxiety is the feeling of fear, dread and uneasiness. According to medlineplus.gov “[anxiety] might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense and have a rapid heartbeat.”

Senior baseball player Ryan Groenenboom understands the pressures student athletes face. “It is really hard; oftentimes you’ll have a couple assignments and big projects due in a week jam packed with a big game, and it is a lot to handle having to get it all done, and it can be very stressful and can make athletes anxious,” he said.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, but the way you deal with these obstacles is what determines whether you are able to be a successful student athlete or not. When the pressure and stress build up, it is important to keep calm and apply extra focus to your everyday life.

It can be helpful to make checklists of everything you need to do for school or around the house. This way it becomes easier to complete all of your tasks and manage your time. This will also allow you to not have to worry about these things while you compete in your sport helping you relax and relieving pressure and stress in game.

In the case where you might not perform your best on a particular day it is best to shake it off and not worry about it too much. Senior baseball player Drew Micek stated, “You can’t allow yourself to get rattled and lose confidence. Once the doubt in your mind sets in it will mess with you for the rest of your season.”

It is important to relax and be confident in order to perform your best. Student athletes face a ton of pressure on a daily basis. Their response to this pressure is what separates the successful ones from the ones who struggle to keep up. It is best to plan and manage time wisely in order to limit stress from school and perform the best you possibly can.

If you feel as though the pressures and stresses are getting to you, it is important to seek help. If you are considering causing self harm or are struggling with anxiety please call 800-273-8255 for help.