Three-sport athletes find ways to handle busy schedules and time conflicts

September 14, 2017 — by Emilie Zhou

Reporter interviews three-sport athletes and how they manage their busy schedules.

To say that senior Alex Metz is busy is an understatement.

As a member of the rally commission and a three-sport athlete, he has to figure out a way to manage his time. He has a daily battle to fit in sports and rally practices, at least two hours for homework, 30 minutes of dinner, college apps and other interests — and still get eight hours of sleep.

For many high schoolers, it’s hard enough to maintain good grades in school while trying to cram in extracurriculars and school activities. Time feels even more limited for those who participate in three sports, despite breaks between seasons.

Senior Harrison Fong, who plays football, basketball and volleyball, said that playing these sports often forces him to focus on what matters most to him.

“My first priorities are school and sports, which often leads to missing social activities with so many sports lined up in my calendar, but I really enjoy playing sports so it's worthwhile,” he said. “Most of the sports I play also include many friends that I really enjoy to hang out with, so it's a win-win.”

In addition, Metz, who plays football, track and basketball, has also experienced such conflicts, but said that it’s mainly planning that is required to survive his schedule.

“There are many times where school and sports overlap, but fortunately I've had great teachers that understand my situation and allow me to take tests at a different time or day in order to help me with my crazy schedule,” Metz said.

Another conflict that can arise with playing three sports is the overlap between seasons. Sophomore Julia Hoffman, who participates in cross country, soccer and track, has been affected by this issue.

“There are a few conflicts because soccer pre-season starts while cross country is still going on, so I am kind of forced to join the team later after people have already begun bonding,” Hoffman said. “But this year, [since it is my second year participating], I already know most of the girls so the transition will be easier.”

Although Hoffman said that the overlapping seasons don’t cause her too many inconveniences, the conflict still takes away from her homework time and forces her to readjust her schedule.

For Metz, playing sports in all seasons can prevent him from specializing in one particular sport, as there sometimes isn’t enough time to practice two overlapping sports. For example, there were instances where he had to miss open gyms for basketball until the football season ended, Metz said.

In addition, according to Fong, having to move from one sport immediately to another can be hard. But with the help of great teammates that are willing to help him out when he needs it, that transition has been be eased, said Fong.


Despite all the problems with schedules and missing practices, Metz, Hoffman and Fong all said they gain overlapping skills from their differing sports, giving them a slight edge over other athletes.

“It’s really helpful because you can take a certain skill like jumping to spike for volleyball and translate it to highpointing a football or grabbing a rebound for basketball,” Fong said.

For Hoffman, participating in cross country has also helped build her endurance for soccer. As for Metz, constantly working out and weightlifting helps to keep him ready and fit for all sports.

Metz also sees side benefits in the discipline needed to play multiple sports. He is in three AP classes and is able to handle them.

“I feel like parents and students should know that being a three-sport athlete doesn't take away from being able to still have a rigorous academic scheduled or social life,” he said. “As a three-sport athlete, I've learned the importance of teamwork, organization and time management.”

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