The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

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Athletic Mindset vs. Academic Mindset

It is finally time for the spring sports season at Wilmington Friends! Sometimes it is hard to get out of the “academic mindset” and into an “athletic mindset”. Therefore, some students decided to talk about their experiences. 

There are lots of talented athletes at Wilmington Friends and spectators can see their talents out on the fields or courts; however, they never know about those seven hours of school just before time on the playing field. Molly Dolan ‘26, plays girls’ lacrosse, field hockey, and basketball. Stone Davis ‘26, plays boys’ lacrosse, and basketball. Ava Kolodszak ‘26 plays volleyball and basketball. Daniela Cristanetti-Walker ‘26 plays field hockey, soccer, and runs track. They are all very passionate about their sports and have been playing them for a long time. 

When students were asked how they split up sports and schoolwork, Molly and Ava both decided to put schoolwork first. “If there is time before practice, I try to get some work done,” Ava Kolodszak ‘26. Molly also uses sports to her academic advantage. She commented, “Athletics does help get my brain moving, so it can be useful for school work.” This is a powerful technique that many students should use to their advantage. Stone on the other hand likes to separate them by splitting their time in half. “I spend 50% on athletics and 50% on academics.” He also talked about how it is sometimes difficult to differentiate the two because “they both take time and hard work.”  

In the same respect, Molly and Stone both commented on how school sports do not affect their studying significantly, but sometimes outside sources can. For example, Molly demonstrates her time management skills, “Sometimes I wish I had extra time to study, but I always end up procrastinating at the last minute anyway.” Stone’s outside source is travel basketball, “The travel aspect gets in the way but the school sports don’t.” Other students, as Ava, do find having practice and having to study a little more difficult. Time is definitely sometimes an issue. Ava exemplifies, “Practice does definitely get in the way of getting my work done cause practice can end at like 6-6:30 pm sometimes and I don’t get home till 7-8 at night. I won’t finish my school work till like 10 or 11 pm versus on a day with no practice. I finished my work at like 6.” The amount of work can also be an issue, Daniela shows, “I have a lot of homework, but most of the time I am pretty good at managing my time. I do my work during school, in study halls and if I have some free time.” 

Sports games can sometimes run late and cut further into sleep time. Therefore, when asked about how much sleep these athletes get, the responses were actually similar. Stone and Molly say they sleep about seven hours every night. They both said that this amount of sleep does not impact their performance during their sports. Ava tries to get at least six hours of sleep a night but does notice a difference in practice depending on the amount of sleep the night before. She emphasizes, “ If I get any less than that I’m slow and tired at the end of the day during practice.” For Daniela, her sleep schedule varies and so does the effect it has on her performance during games. “On average I think I sleep like 8 – 8 and a half hours a night on school nights. My sleep schedule doesn’t always affect my performance during sports but occasionally it will, it’s kind of random.”

After a long day at school, it is sometimes hard to get into a “game mode” mindset.  Most students decide to listen to music to get into their specific athletic mindset zone. “It [music] helps me get all of the distractions away so I can concentrate,” Stone Davis ‘26. However, sometimes students are not able to listen to music before games. Therefore, Ava commented on how on days without music she prefers to keep to herself and “Not really talk to anyone before the game.” 

All student-athletes have different ways to separate their sports and their studying. There is no correct way or wrong way to be a student-athlete! Athletes need to get their heads focused on the game, and not have to worry about the school day before. In conclusion, separating athletic mindset and academic mindset is very important, and everyone has their own unique techniques to help.

Good luck to the athletes this spring and go Quakers!

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About the Contributor
Abbie Thurlow, Staff Writer
Abigail Thurlow is a Features Writer that has just started with the Whittier as a Freshman. Abigail has also been taking sports photos for the paper. She was interested in the Whittier because of her curiosity about journalism. Abigail enjoys creative writing and has had a short story published in a local magazine. She plays field hockey and softball in her free time and is interested in becoming an FBI agent in the future. She hopes to someday publish a novel and is excited to express her passion for writing in the Whittier!

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