Balancing Act

Mario Mendez, Staff Reporter

Dedication, determination, perseverance, and the will to go above and beyond are what it takes to be a West High student athlete.  It’s not just performing your best in the game but out of it as well that makes an athlete successful.

Balance is what makes productivity possible. As a student athlete being able to balance school, social life, and playing a sport is key to survival.

What’s the hardest part of being a student athlete? “All the homework you get from classes,” said Jhayde Zamora, West varsity basketball player.

“One of the hardest things is getting help when needed because it’s really hard having to make time for that on top of everything,” said Leroy Elliott.

Annasophia Roberts, varsity soccer player for West, says finding the time to sleep is one of the hardest parts of being a student athlete. In other words it’s a struggle to fit everything in a 24-hour span.

How do the students focus on what’s necessary to be successful? “Shutting off my phone” was surprisingly heard by a couple of players interviewed, saying that phones are one of the biggest distractions.

Marcella Edi said, “putting on headphones and blocking out the world” is what helps her focus when doing school work or other important tasks for school. Student athletes have to understand that the student comes first and that academics are priority one.

Teachers are important to student athletes. It’s a little easier to manage and cope with stress when your teacher understands and is more flexible with you. Mr. Bernoski said, “ I’m very reasonable, All you have to do is come talk to me and we will work it out.”

“Closed mouths don’t get fed,” is a famous Coach Boston saying. This is his way of teaching his kids to communicate and speak up. Not only is it relevant on the court but off it as well. Teachers and students need to have effective communication in order to have better understanding of each other.

One of the main people in the life of a student athlete is the coach. Being the coach of a team is not all about just showing up telling kids what to do then leave. Being a coach is having the students come together as a family and push every individual to be their best and help them with discipline and responsibility.

Coach Antonio said, “My tryouts start on day one of school. I’m watching to see how many times you’re late or if you sag your pants in hallway. I look at how you act both in and out of class.”

It’s very big in sports how you act outside of the game. Academics show how poorly or how well you manage your free time.

Coach Mike said, “ Wherever you go and how you act does not only reflect on you it reflects on West High school.” This is giving a big chip on the shoulders of student athletes to be responsible and disciplined everywhere they go.

So why, why go through all of this? Jhayde Zamora sums it up perfectly. “I love playing because I have fun I’ve met really good friends and it is a great stress reliever.”

The love of a challenge and the love for what they do is why they take on so much. Student athletes really pave the way for other students because they show that with the right determination and dedication you can do what you love as well as being a good student, they show that goals and dreams can be reached.