Student Athletes Must Balance Out-Of-State Travel, Academics

Being a student athlete, I often take a Friday or a Monday off while I travel to Portland or somewhere in the Lower 48.

My soccer team travels between four and five times a year. All but about one trip falls during the actual school year.

This year we went to San Diego in November, Portland in January, Phoenix in February and Las Vegas in March.

In some cases, like in February, no school was missed because it was a very long weekend.

However, during this most recent trip in March I missed three days of school. We flew Thursday, played Friday, Saturday and Sunday and flew back Sunday night.

One problem with flying back so late and being on a soccer tournament all weekend is that players most likely didn’t finish their homework and are probably dead tired from getting in at 1 in the morning.

Traveling at this age for soccer or any sport, usually means you are working towards getting recruited for college. I do not think that all teachers understand that by taking these trips, we are preparing for college.

Just the other day in Marcus Reese’s class we read a letter on preparedness for college. It listed work ethic and time management.

Being a student athlete, I learned how to balance my time very quickly or found myself  in trouble. Lots of us have soccer two hours a day with an occasional nine o’clock game and traveling.

As for traveling, as a team we only go once a month, but lots of individuals go on their own.

An example is Sophomore Kelsey Eagle. She has been out of state every single weekend for the last three months  at soccer camps and showcases.

Soccer is the way she is getting to college, and I do not think teachers understand that.

We are not just going on vacation. This is work for our future.

Eagle said, “My teachers are usually helpful with getting me work before I go and also after I get back. My parents also help me out, along with my friends.”

Lots of teachers obviously think of education before athletics so are not as lenient for giving work and time.

I have found that if I put in an excused absence form, it notifies the teachers and also shows that I’m putting in the extra work. It gives the teacher a little bit more time to get me work.

Sophomore Emma Ostberg said, “She prefers to get work earlier, but it works out getting work after the trip too.”

I also prefer to get work earlier, even though I don’t always get it done.

Freshman Brooke Liland said, “since I usually miss a Friday there are always  lots of tests to make it up. This makes it a lot harder because I have to go in on my own time and make up the tests.”

A lot of my teachers give me a deadline for making up tests, which makes it very difficult when you have four tests and two days to do it.

I think that teachers should be willing to give some more time to make up work.