Assignments struggling to be completed, deadlines barely being met, all while being away from home trying to perform to your best ability. This hectic scenario is the reality for athletes who play travel sports.  As someone who participates in a sport that requires a lot of travel, I can say that missing a large amount of school to compete makes keeping up with school seem nearly impossible. Having to miss copious amounts of school as an athlete adds stress because of missing time in the classroom and the difficulty to keep up with the workload that we have.

Missing school as an athlete adds a lot of stress to an already stressful junior year. Athletes consistently deal with a natural realm of stress from performing well at a game or competition, and the added stress of missing class can be too much for some to handle. Approximately 31.9% of high school athletes suffer from anxiety due to the high stress levels of school. As someone who participates in a sport outside of school, especially one that requires a lot of travel,  I feel this stress every time I am absent from school due to one of my horse riding competitions. During the first full week of my junior year, I had a national horse show that I had to attend in Las Vegas, Nevada. This caused me to miss the first full week of school of my junior year. Although a week in Las Vegas doing the sport you love and getting to miss school may sound fun to some, the reality of missing that much school leads to an immense amount of stress. The levels of stress I felt not being in class to ask my teachers questions and not actually being in class for the first few lectures made it difficult for me to gain my footing going into the new school year. Even though I could email my teachers any questions I had, it was not the same as being able to have face to face interactions. 

My sport is not the only one that has a demanding travel schedule. Other travel sports such as travel baseball and travel volleyball have a demanding out of town schedule. This routine adds to an athlete’s stress level due to the fact that they do not get as much face to face time with their teacher. This struggle only gets more difficult as athletes continue moving through school and the curriculum gets more challenging. 

“When I was missing class for volleyball it was sometimes difficult to understand certain assignments,” junior Brooke Nohle said. “It was also challenging for me to keep my grades up.”

It is difficult for athletes to keep up with the workload of school, specifically those who miss a lot of school due to their sport. There have been dozens of times that I have been up late on nights of my competitions trying to get all my work done. When I am at week-long shows, it is difficult to find the precious amounts of time it requires to complete assignments. Seeing the assignments piled up on Schoology with little to no time to do them adds even more of a workload to my already busy week. While some teachers do understand the stress athletes face being away from school, there have been many cases where I have felt my teachers do not understand that what I am missing school for is something important and serious, not just a vacation. Athletes are busy during these trips away from home for their sport, making it difficult to keep up with a heavy workload. 

“When I played travel volleyball, sometimes I felt like teachers did not understand why I had to miss so much school,” junior Emma Kate Rodrigue said. “It was difficult when they did not give me any flexibility for assignments.” 

It can be argued that since we have so many online resources to keep up with assignments, such as Schoology, it should not be this difficult to keep up with and understand assignments. However, even online resources have their limitations. If you do not understand something or have a question that google simply cannot answer, the task is nearly impossible. When learning new material, being able to learn face to face gets much more accomplished. 

Partaking in travel sports is something that is important to many high schoolers. It is important that teachers are able to understand the stress and workload being placed on these athletes and try to help them in any way possible.