To a student athlete there are two main worlds: in the classroom and in the field or on the court. While these areas might appear to be different, they are extremely similar. Each of them contains the same elements: practice and games, homework and tests. Academics and athletics also instill many ideals such as integrity, leadership, and teamwork.

I often hear the relationship between academics and sports described as a balancing act. Throughout high school, I have competed in three varsity sports, becoming a four year letterman in two of them—wrestling and baseball and a two year letterman in soccer. Along with a rigorous academic course load, practices and games can get in the way of assignments and studying. There have been many times where I am forced to determine whether the team needs me to win or I need to study. In this case it is a balancing act—a very tough balancing act. Through the decisions I have made, I have realized there are choices in every situation, and it is my duty to make the smart choice.            

These principles in decision-making apply to many facets of a high school student’s life. For instance, social life of a teenager could also be termed a balancing act. As a high school student, I understand some of my peers engage in underage drinking, but I choose to not drink because I know that is the smart choice. It is the smart choice for several reasons such as safety and legality, but it can also affect my life as a student and as an athlete, causing me to perform neither on the field nor in the classroom. The choices that I have learned to make through my role as a student athlete lead me to make smart choices outside of school and outside of practice.

Nick Tucci

St. Anselm’s Abbey School