High school student-athletes face difficult balance that can yield academic results

High school student athletes face difficult balance
Posted at 9:00 PM, Sep 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 06:57:10-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Being a student-athlete in high school is much more than a 40-hour-a-week commitment. In-season practices are on a nightly basis. Depending on travel during the school week or games on the weekends, eight hours a day quickly becomes ten hours, sometimes even eleven or twelve.

"We have to be in class by 8:20," Canisius High School senior and soccer player Troy Toohey said. "The day ends around 3:00 or a little before. Practice goes until 5:30, sometimes 6:00."

That doesn't factor in Toohey's near-hour long commute to and from Youngstown, N.Y. Quite literally, there just aren't enough hours in the day. But the constant workload on and off the field is correlated with academic success.

"The structure is what they crave," Canisius dean of students Tom Coppola said. "While it's an enormous amount of work, they're able to balance what they're doing in the classroom and on the field because that's who they are."

Several studies have shown a correlation between involvement in extracurricular activities and academic success. Some have even shown, on average, a half of a grade point increase for male and female athletes compared to students who don't play sports.