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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Spring athletes under pressure

Busy spring schedules cause stress for student athletes
Rowan Jansen
Senior Jakob Eenigenburg leaves school for track May 30. Many student-athletes have to miss school for sports.

With Advanced Placement tests and final exams in full swing, student athletes have to have a good balance between school and sport. One factor that doesn’t help this busy time in school is the extremely busy schedule that many spring sports have. Spring sports have to fit a lot of games/matches into a pretty short time period, which can add to the already existent pressure that most students are under at the end of the year.

Math teacher and softball coach, Kristen Johnson, said having multiple games in one day and long days at the field can lead to students missing school and getting home late at night.

“In the last two weeks, we had multiple double headers because we had to make up rain outs and other factors,” Johnson said. “When you have those double headers, that gets to be a long evening. You’re missing class so you get out to the field, and then you’re having to spend multiple hours there so you’re getting home at nine o’clock at the earliest.”

Junior tennis player Josh Fink said his tennis schedule has been busy the last few weeks, as well as his school workload. According to him, studying for tests or doing work can be difficult when he has matches or practice every day.

“The last couple weeks have been pretty busy, we’ve had matches most days of the week, and practice on days we don’t have matches. Usually, practice will go until 5:30, and matches go to around 7,” Fink said. “School has been pretty busy as well, with finals and APs, I’ve had a lot of work and studying to do, and it’s been pretty stressful.”

Junior ultimate frisbee player Henry Horstman-Olson said he enjoys studying and doing work on weekends, and having tournaments on most weekends can take up some of that valuable time.

“In the last six weeks, three or four of those weekends have been tournaments. It’s been a lot of games and a lot of work to keep track of as well,” Horstman-Olson said. “I like to study on the weekends, but having these tournaments has cut into that and I’ve had to do a lot of work during the week.”

Johnson said the busy schedule can make it hard for students to get work done after their games. She also said it is hard to keep up with a busy school schedule while also managing a sport on top of that.

“It gets really hard to try and balance school and sports, because if you’re not getting home until nine o’clock at night, you haven’t had dinner yet. You’re going to be physically worn out and then you’re supposed to try and work on your academics,” Johnson said. “It’s IB and AP testing season so it’s really hard to put in the extra effort you need to for your classes and still keep up with the expectations of your sport.”

Fink said his productivity is affected by having a match earlier in the day, and he stays up later than he would normally to get his work done. According to him, he enjoys time to destress after a match, which can make his studying time start later.

“I’ve been up a little later than usual but I’m getting everything done, so that’s been working,” Fink said. “Having a match affects my productivity because when I get home usually I like to take a little bit of time to chill out, and that just pushes the time I get started back.”

Horstman-Olson said as some of his classes have slowed down. It’s been hard for him to stay focused on his other classes, with more of his focus being on his sport.

“As we get toward the end of the year, I’m just more focused on sports. I think it’s harder to care about school when there’s not as much going on, especially when we’re playing in conference and state games. We’re also preparing for nationals, so to do that and still focusing on school. It’s tricky.”

Johnson said her role as both a teacher and a coach allows for her to appreciate how much of a dedication student athletes make to spend so much time at the field.

“It’s really easy when I’m not having to live with that, and having kids that are in sports, that’s an hour or two commitment total,” Johnson said. “But now these events as a coach, with busing and all the other things, it’s truly taking their whole evening so then there really isn’t the extra time where you can have a ton of time to do school work.”

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About the Contributors
Matthew Plant
Matthew Plant, Echo Staffer
Hey, my name is Matthew and I am a junior. This is my first year on Echo and I am excited to be a part of the Echo team. When I’m not in school, I like to ski, play baseball, and hang out with my friends.   
Rowan Jansen
Rowan Jansen, Echo Staffer
Hello, my name is Rowan Jansen and I am a Junior at SLP High School. I like to play softball and hockey in my free time. This is my first year on Echo and I'm looking forward to the year. 

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