Student athletes toil to make gains


Julia Patronite (‘21) spots Livia Hughson (‘21) in bench press as she tries to become a stronger swimmer.

If going to school, doing loads of homework, and attending an afternoon activity is not enough already, imagine playing an extra sport outside of Webb! There are many students at Webb who do all of these at once. Webb’s student athletes challenge themselves by putting in extra work after school to succeed in a non-Webb related sport. Being a top student athlete requires devoting time, commitment, and hard work, and Webb’s student athletes step up to the plate when it comes to this challenge.

Although Webb’s sports players hide their stress well, it is difficult balancing school work, athletic commitments, and social time. Out of Webb’s 409 students, approximately 25% play a sport outside of Webb according to Steve Wishek, the Athletic Director. 

Mr. Wishek said, “I think everyone has special talents and skills they bring to the school. Certainly those who play sports competitively outside of Webb bring talent to our programs, allowing us to compete at a higher level. Hopefully, they bring a willingness to share their experience and help others who have not played as much to both improve at the sport and develop their own passion and appreciation for the game.”

Carly Granda (‘21), a club soccer player, said, “Though there is a time crunch when playing an additional sport outside of Webb, I do not regret it at all! I love to play soccer, not only because it is the best sport of all time, but also because it is a big stress reliever to me.”

Although it is more difficult to do schoolwork ahead of time, there are many benefits of being a student athlete. Playing a sport will increase your chance of getting a scholarship for college, and many vital life lessons come from playing these sports such as perseverance, teamwork, and time management. 

Kevin Ren (‘22), a club swimmer, said, “Swimming helps shape my mentality. It helps me develop a strong mindset in order to stay ahead of the game and become better at anything that I hope to become or do in the future. I definitely do not have as much time to do homework or even socialize, but I find the trade-off to be worth it, as I particularly enjoy those small moments in life in which I see my hard work in the pool pay off.”

When classes gets difficult, student athletes barely have time to focus on their work because they are busy on the field. However, this is not a valid excuse for most. These athletes must persevere through this challenge and complete their homework accurately and on time. Although this task seems manageable, it takes weeks, or even months to learn how to manage time. Learning your schedule, prioritizing tasks, and repeating this pattern is the key to managing your time well. 

Practices and games take up so much time that hanging out with friends is difficult. However, competitively participating in a sport helps build teamwork by working with other goal-oriented athletes. This way, in the future when you are at a job, you already have the skills required to work with others cohesively. 

Depending on the sport, these student athletes train from six to fifteen hours per week, and that is not counting the morning practices, liftings, games, and tournaments on the weekends. In addition, their sleep schedules become disorganized. Most student athletes go to bed later than a regular Webb student because of the time they get home from their sport. In most cases, they also have to get up earlier if there are morning practices. On average, a student who plays sports outside of Webb sleeps between six to eight hours. 

When asked about her sleep schedule, Livia Hughson (‘21), a club swimmer, said, “That’s a difficult question. It depends on the day. Sometimes three hours, other times five hours, and sometimes eight hours.” 

Lack of sleep can be detrimental to an athlete’s education due to tiredness and the desire to rest. It is important to stay healthy and maintain a nourishing sleep schedule. 

The next time you see a student athlete tired or worn out, know that it is not only caused by the rigorous workload or their afternoon activity, but the extra hours they put in to excel in their competitive sport. Student athletes do not settle to be good, but to be great, which is why they deserve a lot more attention.