Opinion: Never having an off-season


Credit: Hallie Luo

WSPN’s Selena Liu discusses what it is like being a three-sport athlete in high school.

Selena Liu

At 3:10 p.m., the bell echoes through the crowded hallways of Wayland High School as students push their way outside, eager to head home. Exhausted from a long school day, students can’t wait to lay down on their bed, eat some snacks and clear their heads.

However, as people rush home, I rush into the locker room to change into my uniform. Not even ten minutes later, I sling my sports bag and backpack over my shoulder, and I’m already halfway out of the field house, sprinting towards the waiting bus that will take my team to our away game.

As the bus rolls away, I shove in my earbuds and close my eyes because I know that this is the only time I can relax. I’m mentally and physically exhausted, but I have to pull it together to do my best for my team. After a few draining hours of competition, my team just barely loses. Before I know it, I’m on the bus heading back home again.

Robotically, I go through dinner and my shower, and when I look up at the clock, it’s already 8:30 pm. I’m just starting my homework and with a wave of panic, I realize that I have a test to study for. Now, I wrestle with the difficult question of whether I should stay up late to study and sacrifice my sleep, or whether I should just go to bed.

This is a normal day for a three-season athlete. Over time, this routine has become overwhelming, but I wouldn’t change this lifestyle for anything. Being a part of this community of dedicated athletes has pushed me to grow in so many ways and has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone.

I think the most invaluable thing that being a three-season athlete has given me is a break from school work. Even though it sounds counterintuitive, the mental break that practices and games offer is refreshing. Even though sports physically exhaust me sometimes, I’ve found that the mental break can actually make me more productive. Having a good practice or game can also make me feel accomplished, and thus motivate me to do more things.

Through my three different sports, I’ve connected with people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met. This includes friendships that I have created with freshmen and upperclassmen. Ultimately, these friendships have brought a lot of new perspectives to my life and created a sense of community that I can look forward to every day.

The difficulties of sports have also allowed me to develop so many skills, both physically and mentally. Even though these sports also have allowed me to get into shape, they’ve taught me how to deal with loss, especially after lots of hard work. Being a three-season athlete has allowed me to learn that sometimes, even after working hard and doing all you can, you might not be able to win.

As I mentioned before, dealing with schoolwork on top of sports is a lot. Sometimes, I feel like I’m forced to choose between my grades and sleep. I can’t just skip games or practice because I have a lot of homework that day or because I’m stressed about my test the next day. I’ve already made a commitment and I must follow through with it, but I’ve also come to learn that things always find a way to work themselves out.

Today, without hesitation I can say that playing sports has brought me some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am so glad that I chose to play sports during my freshman year of high school because I’ve grown and changed so much.