6 Unique Struggles Of Student Athletes

Being an athlete in high school or college, in addition to being a student, is an extraordinary challenge to take on for any young adult. Academics are, by themselves, a daily struggle for many students. Add in playing a sport, plus family and friends, and that struggle increases exponentially.

What Unique Struggles Do Student Athletes Face?

Student athletes have no “time off.”

Each sport generally has its own season, but in the “off season,” there are still practices, training, an exercise regimen, and more required of student athletes. Even during school breaks. Even on vacations.

Student athletes are always hungry.

It may be because they burn so many calories at practice and then studying or because they’re constantly running across campus to get to their next class, but student athletes are always hungry and can be seen eating at almost any time of the day. Regular meal times don’t exist. And snacking can look more like a Thanksgiving feast.

Student athletes will be tired and sore. All the time.

Walking and waddling will become a way of life. Training and games will leave your muscles aching and praying for relief.

Sleep doesn’t keep to a normal schedule any longer, though. Some days, you may be able to sleep in, others have you up for an early practice. Late practice or a school project due the next day will have you up later some nights, while other nights you’ll need to crash early.

College student athletes often stay at school over breaks.

While everyone else gets to go “back home” for breaks and vacations, student athletes can often be found still on campus, practicing, playing games, and studying.

Student athletes often craft their academic schedule around their practice and game schedule.

Working with their advisor and knowing what classes they need to graduate, choices are often made when it comes to their schedule by looking at their sports schedule first.

Because of all of this, student athletes can often feel like they’re behind in just about every aspect of their lives.

Missing class because of games may mean you’re behind in that work. Not being able to sign up for clubs or hang with friends because you don’t have the time outside of sports and school means you’re behind socially. Feeling exhausted all the time can leave you unable to focus in the classroom. Staying up late studying for a test the next day instead of the playbook may leave you behind for practice, too.

Although the student athlete life comes with many challenges, the rewards far outweigh these for most individuals. Stay tuned next week as we take a closer look at the benefits of the student athlete life!


Warren Academy, powered by DREAM, has been helping student athletes increase their performance, mentally and physically, since 2008. With over 10 years of service, Warren Academy has helped guide hundreds of athletes to college. Interested in learning more about Warren’s programs? Contact us today!