The struggle of travel sports

DJ Degand, Staff Reporter

If you play a sport outside of school, then you understand how hard it is to balance homework, friends, and work in addition. If you play more than two sports outside of school, then you understand it is nearly impossible to get anything done. Ever. I play baseball outside of school and volleyball both inside and outside of school. It is even harder for me to get any type of schoolwork done when I have practice 40 minutes away right after school.

During the summer, it is fairly easy for me to balance my life outside of sports because I don’t have to worry about any school-related business. I am able to hang out with friends, go out to eat, and be able to go to a practice, game, or tournament. But when the school year starts, chaos ensues.

At the beginning of the fall, travel volleyball tryouts begin, which starts an almost year-long schedule with no free time or ability to do anything. This year, the majority of my practices are during school days right after school, excluding some Sunday practices. Some of these days during the week we have another practice after our scheduled practice, which could mean I wouldn’t get home until 8:30 or 9:00.

When volleyball tournaments start in November, my weekends are dedicated solely to two or three day tournaments. Of course, I will find this hard to do my homework, study for a test, or finish a project, which starts many other problems. As if one sport wasn’t hard enough, baseball will be starting in less than a month.

During the winter, baseball workouts for my travel team will be starting. Luckily, there are usually only two of these workouts a week, including only one school day. Most of the time, however, I will not be attending these workouts because volleyball is my number one sport and utmost priority. These absences can cause some concern to my baseball coach, but I will always tell him when I will be missing. If I don’t, my mom will (I know you’re reading this so thanks mom).

Around February, travel volleyball will be coming to an end and high school volleyball will be starting. Closer towards March and April, travel baseball will be starting with outside practices and scrimmages, so I still will not have much time with school. Since high school practices are everyday after school, I mostly do my homework when I get home from school, but if it’s game day then I try to do it during the JV game at a home game, or on the bus if it’s an away game.

Around second semester finals, volleyball will be over and all of my focus will be on travel baseball. This makes it easier because not only is school over, but I will only have to play one sport for the summer, or so I would think. I guess travel volleyball isn’t over in the summer.

Whenever I have tournaments for baseball during the summer, the days usually won’t matter because no one has to worry about school. But when travel volleyball starts again, there is going to be a trip to nationals in Dallas, Texas, which could be for a week or more. Still, no school that I will have to worry about, but I will be missing crucial games for baseball that could mean me losing the starting spot or having punishments for missing practices and games.

With all this said, my advice is this: don’t let your sport or sports get in the way of school, friends and family, and work. Although they are very important to me, I try not to focus on them because that can lead to a problem in school, or losing trust with some friends, or possibly losing my job, which could make me play worse on the court or on the field. The one thing to always look out for is the smallest problem because the smallest problems end up making the bigger problems worse for you. Life with sports is always going to make you want to give up to focus more on your life outside of sports, so always stay positive and push through the adversities.