Luke Relue stares into the eyes of the camera before pumping up the crowd for Friday Night Lights.

More than just a jock

Hard work behind student athlete's success

March 1, 2019

Life Behind Student-Athletes

DEDICATION.

500 pitches per week. 100 free throws daily. Countless digs every hour. One mile every four minutes. Detailed footwork every second. Leg days. Arm days. Core days. Recovery days. No days off.

No matter how it is defined, dedication is the main vocabulary word in a high school athletes brain. Waking up at six in the morning and learning for the next seven hours in clearly not enough. An extra two hours after school is added to the routine of high school athletes, if not more.

Homework is then pushed to late at night, while spending time with their family and eating dinner remains on the to-do list.

You hear things like,

“McKeeman scores career high” , “Ejah finishes with a double-double on the night” , and “Vogt throws five touchdowns.”

But many people don’t realize the amount of work, time, and effort it takes to be great at what they do. So here’s a question to think about.

How do successful athletes develop strong work ethics?

A strong mindset is the leading motivational factor in becoming successful at something. The ability to remain focused, yet consistent in one’s everyday activities will prepare someone for the best.

Luke Relue, a senior at Carroll, has been on the basketball team all four years. Although Luke has not received very much playing time at the varsity level, he knows what it takes to be a great athlete.

Relue has shown a tremendous change in work ethic just since freshman year. He began to take things seriously, and focus on exactly what he wants to improve. Now, his weeknights are almost always booked.

Mastering the art of basketball has been thriving through his blood for many years now, but staying consistent in everything he does has prepared him for everyday things just as much as it has for basketball.

Without the drive to go to the gym, finish that last rep, or hit two a days it would be very difficult to be able to stay consistent,“ Luke said. 

Taking advantage of the opportunities that have been opened for Relue has allowed him to learn from his mistakes and progress further in life. Staying academically focused above everything else has released an extreme amount of stress and worry in his everyday life.

If you hold yourself accountable and make sure you have to have your homework done before practice or a workout then you are doing it right and should be very successful in the future,” he said.

Relue also believes maintaining a healthy diet has been a major motivator in everything he does. Allowing his body to receive the proper nutrition has ultimately impacted his performance on and off the court. It allows his daily activities not to be hindered by unhealthy habits.

Now Why is this so Important?

This is an important thing to think about when a student-athlete has a bad game, is struggling, or is showing emotion on the court, field, track, etc. Their hearts are so dedicated into their sport(s), it has become apart of who they are.

A full-time job, in perspective, is what it is like being a high school athlete.

The lives of these athletes become extremely hectic, yet they continue to strive to be the best they can, no matter the circumstances.

Not just anyone can be a student-athlete.

The life of a student athlete takes someone who is dedicated, hard-working, and willing to achieve academic success outside of athletics.

School becomes a patch of stress buried into the lives of everyone, and multi-tasking is not an easy thing to do. Finding success not just in their sport, but in their classrooms as well is the hard part.

No student can be failing more than one class, and coaches hold their athletes to even higher standards.

It is important for coaches to push academic success on the athletes, knowing that school is a priority.

Coaches all around Carroll believe that academic success is ultimately a priority no matter how important a sport is to someone. It takes a great deal of dedication and time-management to become the successful athlete people yearn for.  

  • “Academics should always be prioritized. If you’re “dumb,” lazy, unfocused, etc. in the classroom, then chances are that you’ll have those same characteristics on the field/track/court.“ – Kyle Stoffel (Tennis Coach)
  • If kids really succeed in the classroom, with high SAT scores, high ACT scores, and they have a really high GPA, they will get more money academically than they ever would athletically” – Dan Jones (Strength & Conditioning Coach)
  • “Academic success is the key to opening doors and opportunities for the future….without academic success the student-athlete may not be eligible to participate in high school sports due to credits earned and GPA.  Without academic success, the student-athlete limits their opportunities to attend colleges and universities of their choice. Without academic success, the student-athlete limits their opportunities for future careers of their choice.“ – Doug Dinan (Football Coach)
  • “Academic success is the most important.  Everyone needs an education in order to have a successful life.  Athletics do not last forever and a very small percent of people are able to make money doing it.” – Marty Beasley (Basketball Coach)
  • “I think the dedicated athlete can be dedicated to both academics and their athletics but it takes a great deal of time management and dedication to what their goals actually are.” – Dave Ginder (Baseball Coach)

Although the life of a student-athlete is extremely fun, Relue believes that there still are some troubled barriers you’ll face, but there are always ways to overcome them.

“The biggest struggle of being a high-school athlete is managing your time. In my opinion structuring your time is very beneficial to being successful. I’m not saying plan out every step of the day. What I’m saying is to have a plan when going into the day. For example; I plan my day in my head every single morning when I wake up. It’s become a routine and when you settle in to that routine and start to become really good at it then that’s when you get out of your comfort zone and try new things that will make you grow as a person,” he said.

 

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