Sports Editorial: Being a Student Athlete

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By: Erica Walker
LEESBURG, VA- Commitment. No matter what kind of extracurricular activities you may be involved in, you have to be willing to sacrifice free time and possibly weekends to be a part of it. This not only applies to after school activities, but also schoolwork. To get the good grades that you’re aiming for, you have to study and work hard. Being a student athlete means you have to work twice as hard to keep up your grades AND do well in your sport.
How do I know? I was recently on the JV Softball team here at Tuscarora, and we set our standards very high. We set overall goals for both teams.  For example, both teams wanted to reach ten wins before the season ended and both Varsity and JV were able to reach their goals. We also follow the “Softball Constitution” we were given at the beginning of the year. It contains rules based on games, practices, punctuality, and behavior. Being on time is very important to our program because being late has its consequences.
As a Husky Softball program, we are expected to treat teammates, administration/teachers, coaches, and others with respect. As students, we have to follow the dress code of the school and not wear tight clothing such as leggings, yoga pants, and extremely short skirts or shorts. Our behavior as students is especially important because if a student athlete does something against school regulations, it could cost them their spot on the team.
Being in sports means more time practicing, less time studying. I’ll admit, it’s not easy remembering homework or quiz/test dates when you are having practice every day and games to prepare for twice a week. I’m not saying I’m a slacker, but when you practice about 2 hours or more, you will be so tired, you’ll think staying up until 11pm is late. Being in a sport has its ups and downs, but in the end, it’s about how hard you worked, not what grades you got. Grades are very important, but your grades don’t reflect you as a player; coaches may check your grades, but having a C in math doesn’t mean you won’t play.
Personally, foul-language is not necessary but in sports, it can express bad sportsmanship not only for yourself, but your entire team.  I agree that students should represent their sport’s program with respect and honestly as well. These rules are fair in my opinion because it goes to show that we respect our coaches’ guidelines and requirements for us, even without our sports requirements; after all, it’s what you signed up for and you can’t go back on your word.