Athletes winning in and out of the game

Athletes+winning+in+and+out+of+the+game

Illustration by Caroline Barwick

After staying up late to finish an english essay due at midnight, varsity football linebacker and captain Damon Lloyd wakes up early to work out. He eats a healthy breakfast and avoids fried foods, giving him optimal energy for the day. These are just some of the sacrifices he makes to become a successful student athlete.

Lloyd relies on his work ethic to elevate him above his competition. “I take extra time after everyone leaves to get more work in. Work ethic and leadership on and off the field separate me from other athletes,” Lloyd said.

Becoming a successful student athlete involves putting in time and effort into your work ethic and leadership as well as attention to things such as diet, training regimen and academics.

Sophomore varsity point guard Immanuel Quickley thrives on his work ethic. Quickley plays basketball year round. He works out two hours per day during the school year, and four hours per day during the summer. Quickley shoots hundreds of shots each day during the summer, using The Gun, a shooting machine, that rebounds and passes the balls back to him.

He doesn’t put the extra effort into his workouts to tell his coach he is working hard, but rather he does it to set himself apart from his competition and constantly improve.

According to Quickley, balancing school work is “difficult but can be done,” by limiting distractions and putting in the time. He doesn’t have a specific diet, but he does avoid sugary drinks.

Being a successful athlete isn’t natural, it takes hard work. Some athletes have to work harder than others, but nobody gets to the top without dedication. Becoming a top level athlete is just as much mental as it is physical, and one of the most important things is the athlete’s attitude.

“I hate losing more than I love winning,” senior varsity cross country runner and captain Evan Moore said.

As everyone has been told throughout their lives, people are different. The way you train and prepare for your sport can set you apart from your opponents. Moore believes his drive to win sets him apart along with his work ethic. “I work harder when it’s not mandatory. It’s easy to do the mandatory, but when no one is around, and you’re still working just as hard, that’s what sets me apart,” Moore said.

Training and working out benefits athletes, but the full results of the work  isn’t maximized unless the athlete consumes the necessary amount of nutrients to keep their body healthy.

According to SF Gate, the University of Missouri estimates that male athletes generally need more than 22.7 calories per pound of bodyweight each day, or more than 3,800 calories per day for a 170-pound man. Female athletes need about 20 to 23 calories per pound of bodyweight each day. This is equivalent to 2,600 to 2,990 calories a day for a 130-pound woman.

Eating healthy is just again, another component to being a successful student athlete.

Student athletes are students before anything else. Especially at JC since they attend a college preparatory school, there isn’t just 30 minutes of homework per night. Managing time with school work and their sport isn’t easy. Being successful forces them to make sacrifices and become good time managers.

Junior Alexa Martinez, a women’s tennis player, who is ranked number 175 nationally and number 7 in Maryland, doesn’t seem to have a problem with the workload. “Personally, I don’t find it difficult balancing schoolwork and training. You just need to plan out your activities in order to be successful,” Martinez said.

A 2014 study, conducted by the University of Kansas, analyzed academic performances of student athletes and nonathletes across the state of Kansas. The results showed that participation in interscholastic athletics among students has led to a higher graduation rate among high schoolers.

Successful athletes in most cases are those who sacrifice their time, like Martinez, Moore, Quickley and Lloyd, for training and working out. Athletes can be good, but what separates them from being the best is their willingness to give up the time and put hours upon hours into their craft.

Grant Sharretts and Mike Moxley are Sports Editors for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.