The pros and cons: Is being a student-athlete truly worth it?


Reagan Klein, Student Journalist

Sophomores Amanda Blanco and Phoebe Koskinas at Fairfield Ludlowe High School share the struggles and benefits of being an athlete in high school. 

Blanco began playing volleyball her freshman year, both for high school and Club Nova in Trumbull, Connecticut. Koskinas started in eighth grade, playing for CT Stars in Danbury and then for her high school. 

Club season has begun for both of them, meaning balancing an hour of driving to practice, one to two hours of practice, and three to five hours of homework almost everyday.

“It’s really hard to work around your schedule,” says Blanco. “And teachers don’t allow extensions for me.”

“[Teachers] are a little difficult, they got some attitude,” says Koskinas. “But it’s worth it.” 

Diane Bourque, a teacher at Ludlowe, whose son plays varsity football and basketball, agrees that being a student-athlete is worth it and actually appreciates her son’s teachers’ support. 

Taking harder courses means long hours spent on homework each night. “Oh, I’ll do it after volleyball practice, but then you have to shower, then have to eat your dinner, and after all that it’s ten and you have three tests tomorrow,” says Blanco about her homework routine.

The Athletic Director at Fairfield Ludlowe, Todd Parness, says the 53% of students that participate in sports through the school “perform better during the season” because student-athletes have to keep their grades up to keep playing. Parness adds that playing a sport is a “positive” aspect in the lives of student-athletes even though it can create more pressure for them. 

An additional consideration for student-athletes is the need or want to play in college. Blanco says “my parents are forcing me to play in college” and she already has her eyes on a few D1 schools. Koskinas also said that she wants to play in college. Like many other athletes, both Blanco and Koskinas wish to get recruited. Recruitment can pay-off for athletes, covering tuition as well as other expenses.

“You have to sacrifice your weekend and physical well-being,” says Blanco, “but it’s worth it when you’re on court with those who have done the same…it’s those satisfying moments when it’s game point and you all are dripping sweat but you look at each other… that makes those sacrifices worthwhile.” Blanco’s love of the game trumps the hardships.

Referring to her son’s sacrifices, Bourque agrees, “he finds time to get the work done. He loves to play.” 

All athletes agree that the work is worth it, paying dividends in personal achievement and potential college attention.