Being a student-athlete can be challenging. however, with dedication, discipline and focus, balancing academics and sports is possible. When done right, it can be a lot of fun and very rewarding!
Meet Martin Arriola of 5A. He is one of several students who play sports every day as an annual enrollee in the Xavier-Elevate Sports Program. Although more experienced and comfortable with football, what makes Martin unique is that he plays a different sport everyday. On Mondays, he does taekwondo. Every Tuesday, he works on his volleyball skills. Wednesdays are for basketball. He goes with his first love of football on Thursdays. He also has participated in 2 football tournaments so far this school year.
When asked why he does all four sports, Martin says that he wants to try and see what the other sports have to offer. He also believes that playing multiple sports during the first semester made his entire body stronger.
So how does this young man manage to get high grades and still get to play everyday? Martin says that he studies before and after training sessions. Since he is dismissed at 3:40 pm and training does not start until 4:30 pm, he is able to study at least one lesson. Training ends at 6:00 pm, and he says he still gets to study a little before going to sleep at 8:00 or 9:00 pm. One trait that he has also developed is that when in class, he is tuned in 100%. This helps make homework and tests easier.
Martin’s parents believe in the importance of sports in the formation of their children’s character (Martin’s meimei, Bianca, is in grade 2 and attends Kids’ Athletics every Tuesday and Thursday, and takes gymnastics elsewhere on Fridays; both kids are also very comfortable in the swimming pool and in the ocean). Mr. Arriola sees the benefit of having a sports program that does not limit his children to one sport. He said that even with Martin’s experience in football, he still does not know what martin will end up specializing in over the next few years. Mrs. Arriola mentioned that doing multiple sports helps complement whatever skill one wants to develop. She said that Martin also runs and swims, having participated in an aquathlon, swim meets and 3km runs, all of which helped her son be a better football player.
Above all, the Arriola family has bought into the re-education of how to develop athletes for the long term*. And beyond the grades, the games won or lost, Mrs. Arriola says it best: “It is the life skills that they learn, and this is what matters most.”
*The Long Term Athlete Development framework, or LTAD, is what Xavier School Nuvali and Elevate Sports Academy use as their guide for all of their sports programs.