I never anticipated being the type of person to play two sports, as I was not very athletic as a kid. As I grew up, I started to try more and more sports and ended up falling in love with two of them: running and tennis.

I have always played tennis; at least, that's the only sport I have ever truly been passionate about. After getting a shoulder injury about a year ago, I had to figure out how to continue to stay in shape during the time I couldn't play. I started to go to the gym, but I could only do leg strengthening workouts because I couldn't weight lift.

Since I couldn't do leg workouts everyday, I started to run every other day. Surprisingly, I really liked running. I started to increase how much I ran, and soon it became an addiction.

Once I was able to play tennis again, I continued to run whenever I could, whether it be after practice or when tennis got rained out. Running became my escape, and I joined my school's track team. 

When tennis season started, I thought I would have to put running aside until it ended. This was not something I wanted to do. After talking with the people on the track team, I got the idea to do both sports. With support of the track coach, I came up with a way for me to run track and play tennis during the same season. 

Managing this was no easy task. Two varsity sports under my belt required me to prioritize aspects of my life. With daily adjustments, I am able be successful in both sports while still focusing on my body.

Time Management 

fitness, Sneakers, running, Tennis shoes, Yoga, water bottle
Jocelyn Hsu

Playing two sports can be a significant challenge. Learning how to budget your time and setting goals are the keys to success. 

First, I chose the sport to which I need to be more committed. Tennis was my first sport, and as a leader on the team, I had to make sure to show my dedication. I decided that I had to work track around my tennis commitment.

I would go to every tennis practice and do my track workouts before tennis during a free period or after tennis. Also, I had to figure out my match and meet schedules. I printed both schedules out and highlighted the meets that wouldn't interfere with any tennis matches.

As long as you plan and manage your time with the support of your teammates, playing two sports isn't as hard as it may seem. 

Fuel Your Body

Rachael Stockel

Nutrition was definitely the most important and most difficult aspect for me. Having nearly 3 hours of practice every day meant that I was burning an immense amount of calories and my metabolism sped up to an absurd speed. 

I burned an average of 1,000 calories everyday during my workouts. My doctor suggested that I up my caloric intake to 3,000 calories so that I didn't lose too much weight. That's how much a growing boy should eat, not what a 5'5" girl usually ought to be eating. But's there's a reason athletes like Michael Phelps eat upwards of 12,000 calories a day.

I wasn't even able to fit that much food into my body. It was so difficult for me that I found myself not eating enough. I became run-down and would not perform as well in practice. My weight started to drop rapidly, which made me feel even more sick.

Eating enough and eating the right foods was something I had to learn to do over time, because I came to understand that if I didn't eat well, I would suffer the next day. Eating right is definitely the most important aspect of playing multiple sports. It kept me healthy and able to perform well.

Rest Up

chocolate, cake, sleep, nap, napping, sleeping, asleep, girl, bed, blanket, pillow
Jocelyn Hsu

Sleep is also very important. Getting enough sleep ensures that you can recover properly and thus perform well the next day. There are 5 stages of sleep, stages 1-4 and REM. Each stage of sleep provides for a different level of brain activity. I needed each one.

It has been hard making sure I get enough sleep because I feel like sometimes it makes me miss out on having fun with friends at night, but it has had to become a priority to participate in the sports I love.


Rachael Stockel

I have to make sure I get homework done early and never procrastinate because, ultimately, sleep comes before a Netflix binge (no matter how badly I want one). The hardest part about balance to me is when something unplanned comes around. For example, when a teacher decides to assign homework that's due the next day, you may not have planned it. The best way to deal with surprises in your schedule is to just accept that you have to get it done and you will get it done, somehow, someway. 

A social life is also hard to balance because you may have to go to sleep early before an important race or match and can't stay out late with your friends. What I learned to do is have most of my social events during the day and only go out late when I don't have a sports event the next day, because as I mentioned earlier, sleep is incredibly important to performing well. 

Although playing two sports in the same season may seem inexplicably stressful, it can fit into your routine as long as you stay organized. Sports are so important to me because not only do they create a healthy lifestyle, but you get to meet new people and create lasting friendships.