The status of the “student-athlete” label is an interesting topic due to the heightened demands that come with the privilege of representing your school on the field. These young adults experience a great amount of pressure both on the field and in the classroom since both teachers and coaches expect the very best from the young minds that they guide. Although there is quite a bit of grey area surrounding the term, I prefer to think that student-athletes are true to their label—students first and athletes second. Regardless of any potential distortion surrounding the modern nature of student-athletes, I very grateful for the plethora of lessons I learned during my time as a student-athlete and I hope to pass on some of this knowledge to the young minds that I will work with on the field and in the classroom for years to come.
Since a small fraction of high school athletes go on to compete at the collegiate level, and an even smaller sliver of collegiate athletes make it to the professional level, it is obvious that it is important for student-athletes to excel in the classroom. However, there are more than enough reasons that support the continuation of the student-athlete practice. One of the main reasons why I support the dual-threat nature of the student-athlete is that there are certain lessons that are extremely difficult to convey in the classroom, yet they come organically through athletics.