by Cason Broers
Eagle Editorial Board
With many students involved in sports one way or another, being able to manage time for friends and schoolwork while juggling practices and games always remains a concern for student athletes.
While most sports have their practices after school, some have practice in the morning. This is the case for the cross country, wrestling and soccer teams, whose players have to arrive at school much earlier than the rest of the student body.
In order to be on time for their practice, athletes must wake up early to get to school. Late afternoon practices also result in getting home late, which means less time for other things.
Senior cross country and track super star John Cantu just completed his fourth year of running cross country and will begin track season workouts shortly. The cross country team finished second at the state tournament.
In cross country events, Cantu competed in the varsity boys 5K. For track, he runs the one-mile and two-mile events. In order to be on time for morning practice, Cantu has to wake up early.
“I usually wake up at 5 every morning to go to practice,” Cantu said. “I think it’s the best time to workout because the Houston heat and humidity are not there to work against you.”
Senior Nathan Werner is entering his third season as a member of the wrestling team and just completed his first season as a member of the track and field team where he throws shot put and discus.
For wrestling, Werner and the other wrestlers practice in the morning and in the afternoon.
“I have to wake up at five in the morning,” Werner said.
Sophomore Junior Carrera is entering his second year on the soccer team after starting as a freshman last year. Just like the wrestling and cross country teams, soccer also practices in the morning, which is something Carrera thinks has its goods and bads.
“I have to wake up at 5:30,” Carrera said. “I hate morning practice but at least it’s cold not hot like in the afternoon.”
While he does not enjoy working out so early in the morning, Werner feels that working out in the morning does have some positive effects.
“I hate morning workouts but they pay off in the long run,” Werner said.
When it comes to their time management, both have to make time for other things in their lives such as school and social time.
“I don’t stay up too late with schoolwork,” Werner said. “I try to go to bed early so I won’t be tired for morning workouts. I’m also still trying to balance my time with sports, school and friends.”
Cantu feels the same way as Werner when it comes to managing his time.
“When it comes to school work it depends,” Cantu said. “Most nights I stay up until 11:00 or 11:30. I just try to keep all of my activities planned out and stay on top of my school work.”
Carrera makes sure he has all of his priorities in check as well.
“I put school first, then friends and then work so they usually don’t effect one another,” Carrera said.
Before their seasons start and after they end, athletes participate in off-season training. This is designed so that students either get back into shape after time off or stay in shape as they await the regular season to begin.
While off-season may not be as rigorous as the regular season practices, it still affects an athlete’s time for homework or other social life. Both Cantu and Werner work hard in the off-season making sure that they are ready for the regular season.
Cantu also puts in work during the off-season, using the time to get ready for regular season competition.
“I’d say I put in the same amount of hard work throughout the entire season, but off-season is the time I use to build endurance, so it’s not the easiest part,” Cantu said. “In the off-season, I build up my mileage to improve my endurance, and I workout in the weight room trying to put on muscle.”
Werner also uses the off-season to work to improve his regular season performance.
“I work hard during both the off-season and regular season,” Werner said. “For wrestling I try to train with people that are much better than me so I can improve and for track I lift weights to get better.”
Carrera uses the off-season to his advantage, making sure he is ready to go for the upcoming season.
“I think I have worked harder in the off-season than in the regular season because I’m prepping for all the games and practices to come,” Carrera said. “I do plyometrics, life weights and run as part of my preparation.”
For those athletes who step up to the challenge and play multiple sports, the time they have for social and school life can be limited. This can be especially tough for an athlete if he is playing in sports whose seasons are back to back like football and basketball, for example.
When it comes to participating in multiple sports, Werner feels that a challenge is presented.
“Sometimes there are times where it’s hard to get stuff done because of two sports,” Werner said. “I’m lucky that the two sports I participate in do not overlap each other.”
Being a multi-sport athlete, Cantu has found ways to keep everything in check.
“At first it was hard, but after a while you just become in sync with your schedules,” Cantu said. “It’s just a matter of staying on top of your game.”