Two-sport athletes juggle schedules

Anne Sullivan Beltran and Anna Ivanov

High school life is packed with responsibilities. Students who play not only one, but two sports, sometimes need a break, freshman Carlin Endre, South volleyball player and softball player for Titan’s Fastpitch Association, said.

A common struggle for students who play multiple sports is managing time, senior Luke Winger, South varsity hockey player and lacrosse player for Second City Team Illinois Lacrosse and Team Project Midwest Lacrosse, said. The best way to manage two sports and school is communication with coaches. 

“[Playing two sports in one season keeps you engaged in everything,” Winger said. “You’re always making sure you’re staying focused on what you need to do and not slacking off.” 

While managing schoolwork with multiple sports is a challenging aspect, finding time to practice individually is also important, senior Jason Ban, South varsity hockey player and baseball player for the Homestead Ranchers Baseball Organization, said.

“[The toughest part of playing two sports] is finding time to train outside [of practice],” Ban said. “I have to balance [the schedule of one sport] with training outside of practice for my other sport, [while] balancing schoolwork.”

When it comes to practices and games, high school coaches are often much stricter than club coaches, Winger explained. The coaches are more stern because a student’s high school season is the time when seniors are expected to act as leaders, Winger said. 

“The most important thing is the high school season,” Winger said. “What really matters  [to me] is the high school sectional and state championships.”

In addition to managing their free time, school can become overwhelming in conjunction with an overfilled sports schedule. It is difficult for teenagers to keep up with two different sports at one time while also balancing schoolwork, Ban explained.

 “I sometimes wish I didn’t play hockey, because I’d have more time to focus on school, [like homework and clubs],” Ban said.

Despite the challenges, there are numerous benefits to being a dual-sport athlete, including greater agility and strength, Endre said. Many of the skills that athletes develope in one sport can benefit the other, he explained. 

“[Volleyball and softball both have] a lot of lateral movement and short sprints,” Endre said. “It’s helped me get better hits off the bat or off the tips, [where volleyball players use only their fingertips to send the ball over the net].” 

Another thing that student-athletes keep in mind when stressing over their sports is that it is a rewarding aspect of their high school experience, freshman Marissa Duri, South volleyball player and FC-1 academy soccer player, said. 

“Sometimes, I get tired and I just want to quit.” Duri said. “But I push through because I love the sports I play.”