Have you ever felt overwhelmed and exhausted from sports? Has there ever been a day where it feels like sports are suffocating, or consuming all of your time? As athletes and teenagers we all tend to sometimes be disorganized, but as responsible students we must find the time to plan and balance our lives. Though sports seem to be the most important thing right now, it’s unhealthy to be completely weighed down by one thing. There always needs to be a balance, finding it is the hard part.
There are three branches to the tree of health: social, physical, and mental. They all affect one another; damage to one of the three can bring the whole tree of health down. So, if we only focus on one of the three, the other two are left unattended and fall behind. As athletes, we all have tendencies to sometimes focus our attention on our physical health more than social or mental. It is a trained habit to pay attention to mental and social, though they are just as important. If you constantly focus on the physical branch of health, that very branch will eventually collapse from exhaustion. The buildup of stress, and overexertion will eventually reach its toll.
For example, if a student goes to practice, to the gym, then running, they come home to an exhausted body and mind. This leaves them no time to make plans for friends or to study for the next week’s quiz. As their physical health is growing stronger, their mental and social health grows weaker. Think of the other branches like the muscles in a body. If the body of the physical branch is constantly worked out, the muscle grows stronger. Meanwhile, the brain and communication muscles from the mental and social branches grow limp from lack of use. In other words, all three branches of health need equal attention. This can be done by making a schedule or a mental note; write down that Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you can workout while Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday you try to spend time doing activities with friends. Sundays you could leave for just relaxing or family time, because they’re important as well! For mental, try to get home and study and do homework by a certain time. Remember, school is important too! Don’t stress out and stay up the majority of nights trying to do homework because of crowded schedule of sports. That will easily bring the physical health branch down.
In aspect of colleges, they like seeing balanced students too. Coaches want athletes that are dedicated; but being dedicated to your work as well as a sport is even more impressive. Added to that, students that have a balance of grades, social skills like being in clubs, and sports are even more valuable than just a sport player alone. Even if you don’t get a full athletic scholarship, a well balanced tree of health could be beneficial. Academic scholarships are just as effective though not as commonly strived for! Wouldn’t that be a great accomplishment to claim the offer of both athletic and academic scholarships? So although it may seem like sports are a main focus for athletes looking for scholarships, being balanced is far more helpful.
Everyone gets caught up in doing what they love sometimes, but remember to take in consideration of all aspects of health. Remember that we are all only human, and right now, only teenagers. Everyone deserves to have fun, everyone needs to study and learn, everyone requires rest, and everyone want to do what they love; but balance is the key to all of the above.