Haverford’s athletes have a distinguished reputation: their impressive work ethic, strong mental discipline, and, of course, success radiate across all athletic areas. Their accomplishments, however, are earned not only during games but also in the classroom.
In addition to a busy athletic schedule, student-athletes must balance their school work, extracurricular activities, and social lives. Sixth Former Chace Knox, a wide receiver and cornerback for the football team, runner for the track team, and Honor Council member, has noticed difficulties transitioning from after-school practices to school work.
“When you get home after practice, the first thing you think about is the fact that you’re tired,” Knox said. “You can’t take a break, though. You’re still going to have homework to get done or a test to study for, so you’ll have to go from one thing to another pretty quickly.”
As an Honor Council member, Knox enters Wilson Hall around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. After meetings, he attends his classes and goes to football practice until 6:00 p.m. Once home, he completes any other unfinished work. With a complicated and difficult schedule, Knox has embraced his heavy workload.
There’s a lot of time management I do to prepare for each day and get to where I am this yearChace knox ’23
“Now, dealing with everything is kind of part of who I am,” Knox said. “Being a senior, having college applications, and all the school work—there’s a lot of time management I do to prepare for each day and get to where I am this year.”
Naturally, student-athletes must adapt to their countless academic, athletic, and personal obligations. For Sixth Former Colin Kelly, a captain of the cross country team, runner for the track team, and pole vaulter, having limited time to spend on academics caused him to develop valuable work skills.
I really had to learn how to get homework done in the most efficient way possiblecolin kelly ’23
“I really had to learn how to get homework done in the most efficient way possible,” Kelly said. “I’m in the fall play, so I’m not getting home until 9 p.m. every day. I have a very short window between when I get home and when I want to go to sleep, so the only way for me to get homework done is to cram it into that space.”
Furthermore, Kelly has noticed an increase in productivity since he began having more work to complete.
“[Having a lot of work] puts me in a mindset of productivity,” Kelly said. “I know I have to be at a certain level of efficiency or else it’s not going to get done.”
However, academics and other extracurricular obligations can also interfere with training schedules. During the summer, Kelly adapted to a busy day schedule by running in the dark.
“I have done hill workouts at 9:30 p.m. in the pitch black of my neighborhood just because I didn’t have any other time to do it,” Kelly said.
Alongside difficult workloads, student-athletes also have to manage missed school days. Sixth Former Rory Nesbitt, a captain of the golf team and a competitive lacrosse player, acknowledges the challenges the golf team faces in regard to class time.
“The golf team has had a lot of early dismissals because of all the places we travel,” Nesbitt said. “We have to beat the sunlight. We can’t play in the dark obviously, so we tee off earlier.”
Unfortunately, early dismissals result in a considerable amount of missed class time, leaving the students with the responsibility of making up work.
“A ton of the golfers have had to find ways to talk to their teachers, communicate with them, and make up their work,” Nesbitt said. “I think the teachers have been pretty understanding of that, but it’s definitely an added responsibility.”
As a way to manage missed class time and academic work, Nesbitt focuses on planning out his days ahead of time.
It’s just knowing my spacing of scheduling—really prioritizing my school and college applications and getting that done before the deadlinesRory Nesbitt ’23
“Writing out my schedules and my days really helps me,” Nesbitt said. “It’s just knowing my spacing of scheduling—really prioritizing my school and college applications and getting that done before the deadlines.”
While such challenging schedules are mentally draining and time-consuming, the outcomes can be fulfilling. Ultimately, Nesbitt is grateful for his time spent both as an athlete and a student.
“I’ve been having some late nights, but it’s all been worth it,” Nesbitt said. “I think the extra stress and extra work has definitely been rewarding, and this has been one of the best years of my life. I wouldn’t trade in golf for anything else—I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”