A Coaches Perspective on Athletes’ Busy Lives

Aislynn Miller, Writer

When I asked coaches if they found it hard to manage schooling, jobs, and sports, the overall answer to the question was not the one I expected. I thought that most would say it was hard to balance the mundane of life with sports in high school, but they said they didn’t find it overall hard. I interviewed Coach Schneider, the wrestling coach, Coach Hilsenteger, coach of Track and Field and Cross Country, and Kevin Bryant, the Athletic Director.

They all did sports in high school and some of them did it all the way through college. They all had different things to say about what they have seen students have to struggle with.

Coach H told me, “Sometimes they put everything off last minute… So they don’t have the budgeting of time down yet… I think it’s really hard to have a job and do sports and schoolwork in high school. Particularly if they are a ‘good’ student because they are taking AP classes then.”

Schneider said, “Use the time teachers give you…I think time management is an issue for kids these days… I think there’s a lot of time wasted.”

Kevin Bryant didn’t remark on students exactly but the district as a whole. “I’ve seen students struggling in lots of different ways, especially at this school. When you are at an under-resourced school the kids that don’t have as much financial resource that presents some of its own problems. And you have families that are at various stages of health that puts even more stress on kids. Then you add the pandemic to it all and it’s quite a mix. Academics, summer working, friends, relationships- there is a lot for students to manage right now.”

The coach’s responses didn’t surprise me. I know that I procrastinate a lot of things and I don’t even do a sport right now. They do try to help students if they start to fall behind. Bryant talked about setting students up with a tutor in a specific area if they are falling behind and something about a Hardship or a Waver. Coach H told me that she helps students work on a calendar or schedule for studying. Schneider spoke about informing his athletes on the amount of time he and other teachers give in class to get the work done and to quote him again ‘Use the time wisely.’

If an athlete is struggling with work the coaches would help out. There are tons of resources out there because the coaches don’t want to lose athletes if they don’t have to.