It’s Thursday night, and you get home late from your lacrosse game, again. You have tons of homework to finish and you haven’t gotten a chance to text your friend back about hanging out this weekend because you don’t know how busy you will be. It has been like this all year. This is the life of a three-sport athlete.
Being a three-sport athlete can be hard. Much of an athlete’s time is taken up by sports, and when they play them year-round, they may not have time for other things, such as spending time with friends.
“[I don’t like] not being able to hang out on the weekends as much with all my friends,” said senior Jourden Blackmon, who plays lacrosse, football and wrestles. “It takes up most of my time, especially wrestling, because we have a tournament every Saturday.”
Having time to complete schoolwork may be an issue as well. Though the term is “student-athlete,” academics may not always come first.
“You don’t have much time to do all your work and complete all your assignments,” said Jazmine Atkins, a freshman who plays basketball, volleyball and soccer.
Playing three sports and completing schoolwork requires an athlete to be accountable and organized.
“It takes a lot of responsibility because you have to know what you’re doing and you have to stay out of trouble,” Blackmon said. “If you get in trouble, you get kicked off the team, while if you get in trouble and you’re not in sports, it doesn’t really do anything to you.”
Responsibility isn’t the only quality that three-sport athletes need. Because playing three sports takes up a lot of time, people that play sports year-round need to know how to handle their time in an efficient manner.
“[Playing three sports] is very time consuming; you have to manage your time really well,” Atkins said.
Time consumption can be a big turnoff for some. Junior Hannah Holloway stopped playing basketball and switched to playing only tennis and soccer so that she would have more time for other things.
“It’s a lot of work [to play three sports],” Holloway said. “Anyone who just plays one sport knows how much work it is, because you have to take a lot of your time out of the day to go to practice and games. It takes away from homework and free time. I already feel like I have a lot with just two sports now, but three sports was just so much.”
Though there are obvious negatives to playing three sports, being a three-sport athlete has many positive aspects, like how it gives athletes something to do all the time.
“After school, if you just go home, even if you have homework, there can be a lot of down time, and it’s just simply boring,” said freshman John Dunning, who plays football, lacrosse and wrestles. “With sports, you have something to look forward to, something to practice. You get to hang out with all your friends and it gives you something to do after school.”
Many like being a three-sport athlete because it allows them to meet new people.
“You get to be a lot more social and you get to meet a lot of new people you wouldn’t have [normally met],” Dunning said. “I’ve made friends with a lot of upperclassmen and sophomores that I wouldn’t have even met had I not played sports.”
Being a three-sport athlete also allows athletes to work out throughout the year.
“Physically, it’s healthy for you because it keeps you active and in shape, and it’s just a rewarding experience,” Dunning said.
The three-sport athletes are constantly in shape because the transition between sports happens almost immediately, but they don’t get much time to switch their mindset from one sport to the other.
“[It is hard to transition] from cross country to basketball because basketball is a lot more fast running and cross country is a slow, pace-yourself kind of thing,” said Savannah Morris, a sophomore who plays basketball and runs cross country and track.
The transition is easier for others, depending on the athlete.
“It’s not really hard to transition because most of my sports fit in with each other pretty well and I go week after week and it just switches right into the next sport,” said junior Rob Hamlet, who wrestles, runs cross country and plays lacrosse.
Playing three sports can be a grueling feat, but many can agree to its numerous benefits in many different areas.
— By Becca Heilman