Scholar Athletes’ Stress Levels In/Out of Season

Bailey Woodall, Staff Writer

In high school, being a multiple sport athlete on top of being a student seemed to be awful at the time. There was no time for relaxing or hanging out with friends, unless it was at practice. I never thought I’d look back and say, “Wow, I had it good.” Now, as a sophomore in college, I have two out of season semesters under my belt and I’m in the middle of my second in season semester. The difference between the two is slight, but quite dramatic.


Out of season is when you take all of your credit hours. You must attempt to stack on all of the hard stuff at once so it doesn’t have to be a stressor when on a road trip. That’s the goal, anyways. Some sports have some out of season games, and there’s definitely still practice. For softball, we have the weekends off when we’re out of season. That is a huge difference. Being able to make plans on Friday night and Saturday night really makes us feel like we have a social life. It also gives us the ability to use those days to catch up on sleep, recover our bodies or do school work. Being able to do school work in your room or at the library, instead of on a bus or a hotel room, makes it easier to do, in my opinion. I work best when I’m comfortable and focused. It’s hard to focus in a hotel room full of three other girls or in a cramped bus seat. Having the weekends off is a blessing and I’ll never take those for granted in the off season.


In-season, our weekends are not free. This means we have to be more smart with our time management. A lot of the time, nobody wants to do anything for the rest of the day after practice. Something as small as a three hour practice can change your mood for the rest of the day. Also, there are road trips during season. We could leave on a Thursday afternoon and not come back until Sunday night. That’s missing a Thursday class and all of Friday’s classes. That means, as athletes, we have to take the initiative to communicate with our professors. On the bright side, the professors at Kentucky Wesleyan are supportive and on our side. They make it very easy to catch up on work and let us know what we’ve missed.


In-season, we’re always around our teammates. Friends that aren’t on the team get very little time with us. That’s why you make sure to spend time with your other friends during the off-season. That’s also why it’s good to always be on good terms with your teammates, since you’re surrounded by them 24/7 during season. Being on bad terms with a teammate just causes more friction and makes games or road trips less fun.

Overall, the mentality of an in-season athlete compared to an out of season one is totally different. Out of season prepares you for the stress, but makes you so excited for the season. There are ups and downs to both. My favorite part, off-season, is getting weekends off. There are only a couple weekends that we have games scheduled, but then the rest are ours. That may be the only thing I like about the off-season, though. I love being in-season. The constant traveling, the excitement during games, and bonding with my teammates. My strongest bonds are with girls on my team, and that wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for season.

Finishing all of your class work, maintaining a social life, and performing well on the field may be stressful and harder, but it’s so worth it, though. The memories made and the experiences are unforgettable. It’s what being a student-athlete is all about. We wouldn’t have been handpicked by our coaches if they didn’t think we could handle it. There are days that are worse than others, and there are days where it feels like were drowning with all the things we have to do. Student-athletes are not indestructible, but we are resilient, as we will always do what it takes during off-season and on-season.