Balancing Sports and Academics

Olivia Starace '24
Waking up early and going to bed late are two things you sign up for when you become a student-athlete. Every day is a long day. Wake up, school, practice, commute home, shower, dinner, homework, bed. It’s a cycle that repeats daily, sometimes for months on end. Student-athletes work hard both physically and mentally every day. With the largest athletics program in the city, Xaverian has hundreds of kids working to balance their academic and athletic careers. Students are constantly under stress and pressure to perform at their best academically as well as athletically. So how do students balance school and sports? 

When you’re a student-athlete, it is emphasized that being a student comes first. Many pressures come with that statement. At Xaverian, athletes must have passing grades, stay out of trouble, and keep their attendance up to keep their spot on the roster. Coming home late from practice and doing homework into the early morning hours is a trend that student-athletes know well. 

Based on a survey with 200 teens between 16 and 17 conducted by the National Library of Medicine, “Approximately 91% of all the cohort experienced some level of stress due to sports.”

It is easy to give up and fall behind when so much stress is placed on a teen’s shoulders. At times, people are willing to help get you back where you need to be. Unfortunately, most of the time, these students are not getting any help or recognition for the amount of work they are doing. 

There aren’t all negatives to being a student-athlete. Being a part of a sport teaches students discipline that they can translate into every aspect of their lives. It teaches respect, time management, comradery, and many other important things needed throughout one’s life.

Lucia Schirripa ‘25 says, “From the early morning practices to the very late games, from being exhausted to sore all the time, from the outstanding wins to the heartbreaking losses, being a student-athlete is hard, but I still love it and would put all of that on the line just to play the sport I love.”

It isn’t easy to juggle an academic career at the same time as an athletic career. Putting your all into one thing is exhausting, let alone two. It is stressful and hard, but rewarding in many ways. At the end of the day, the lessons learned as a student-athlete are ones you take with you for the rest of your life.


Established in 1957, Xaverian is one of thirteen schools nationwide sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers.