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How much is too much when balancing sports and academics?

Hannah DiDio ’25

Waking up, going to school, practicing and keeping up with your studies can get overwhelming.

Student-athlete Whitney Handwork ’26 has a packed schedule and struggles to keep a balance between sports and academics. Handwork spends two plus hours a day at swim practice and is a very dedicated student as she spends around three hours after school doing homework.“I spend two hours at swim practice then two and a half hours doing my homework and studying,” Handwork said.

Her mother, Beth Handwork, uses her teaching experience to help Whitney with stress and time management. She understands how much work it is to be a committed athlete as well as a dedicated student.“If Whitney is getting stressed out, I will talk to her about what her expectations are in school, what’s due when, what she needs to focus on and remind her that she can get it all done,” Beth Handwork said.

It’s also important to Handwork to be an active team member and show up and do the work. It’s important for her to be in the pool and putting all her effort into practice, but the girls’ swim coaches understand the importance of school.“We try to stress the importance of balance and communication, letting us know if they (student-athletes) are overwhelmed or overworked and need to get out early,” Assistant Swim Coach Bill Thompson said. “ We have a shorter practice option and the swimmers do a different practice depending on how much school work they have.”

After a long day of school, Thompson thinks having sports to take your mind off of school and can be good for a student-athlete mentally.“School and sports go hand in hand. After school, practice can be a good break from school where you can physically exert yourself, and after practice you are fresh for your homework,” Thompson said. “It’s great to be with your teammates and help each other out with classes and practice.”

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About the Contributor
Hannah DiDio ’25
Hannah DiDio ’25, Staff Writer
Managing a busy schedule as a student athlete, Hannah DiDio ’25 is constantly finding new ways to pursue her passions both in and out of school. DiDio swims for South, Gators, and the Country Club of Detroit, always keeping herself busy with new hobbies and extracurriculars. This hardworking staff writer is also sure to set aside time for herself and her friends, and she loves to spend time in nature or cooking when she has a break from her packed schedule. Only a first-year staffer, DiDio is an expert Tower recruiter, and she notices the positive impact journalism has had on her high school experience. “I really like journalism writing and finding fun stories,” DiDio said. “I’m so excited for The Tower this year, and I already got my friends to take Honors Journalism.”

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