Hello welcome to the University of Pikeville, as I write this I am nearing the end of my first semester of college. I was where you are. Everyone here has been where you are. There may be a lot of things running through your head right now, probably scared and not thinking you can do it, but I promise you that you can do it. Things perhaps seem very overwhelming, and you may feel unsure about how you are going to be able to handle baseball with all the schoolwork that there is in college. There is a lot more of both baseball and schoolwork in college then there is in high school. Many different methods are used to stay on top of your schoolwork while juggling all of the baseball there is here. I have interviewed the three coaches here, two seniors, 1 Sophomore, and 2 Freshman. All of these students interviewed are on the baseball team and will have already done what you are about to do. All of these students interviewed are student-athletes who maintain a good GPA while playing baseball.
In my interview with head coach Casey Hamilton, I asked him What advice would you give to incoming Freshman with handling schooling with baseball. He stressed the importance of getting off to a good start saying that this goes a long way. Hamilton was playing division one baseball at The University of Mississippi he said that something he was always taking advantage of the facilities offered to them. I then asked the coach how this has helped him in his work career he said that it helped him understand the importance that everything needs to be done on time, but he knows what it looks like when a student is struggling and how to help them which he said is “very important.”
My next interview was with pitching coach Jake Sokoll, Sokoll, a Pikeville alum, who said that he would advise Freshman to be diligent with the syllabus. He also went on to talk about using study tables as a thing to take very seriously and not mess around with. When asked what things he did as a student to be a successful student here, he said that he wouldn’t let assignments sit and work on them in between classes so that way he could save the nights for time to study and be a kid. The coach said that this has helped him in his professional career by helping him develop leadership skills that he now uses every day and has excellent time management skills
After my interview with coach Sokoll coach, Minnick was up next. Minnick, just like Hamilton, played division one baseball said that finding a mentor that can help you out is the biggest advice he could give someone saying that having a good mentor you can go to who knows the struggles is very crucial and helpful. He said when he was struggling in class, he would go to his coach, advisor, and mentor for help. Asking for help isn’t a bad thing to do, don’t be afraid. Coach having just graduated college saying in his concise, professional career, said that balancing baseball and school that he feels that he can handle almost anything thrown his way.
As soon as coach Minniks interview was over, I walked to Kinzer, where I interviewed two seniors on the team, the two seniors both agreed that as a freshman you need to get used to being in the library. They said that’s the most significant piece of advice they could offer a first-year student. Both of these students had struggled in the beginning parts of their college career with keeping grades where they would like them to be. One of the seniors said you need to accept the fact that you will have little to no free time. Both of the students said this has improved their time management skills And agreed that this would be very beneficial in their working careers after they graduate college. One of the seniors said that his freshman year was his hardest just because he didn’t know how to study he said once he learned how to study and that most of his free time will be spent in the library and accepted it he became a better student.
My next interview was with a sophomore who is a double major and is looking to become a triple major. This student said that something he was told was to look at this as a job 8-6 is your job. You have to do all of your schoolwork and baseball within that time to have the nights to yourself. He said some days you have to take work home with you though and can’t finish it all in that 8-6 time period. This student holds a 3.8 GPA but still finds time to be a kid and enjoy the things in life and friends around the campus
For myself, the best advice I could give to you guys is have a calendar and fill out all the things you need to do and when assignments are due. Work hard at it, and you will see much growth in your academics, and it will help in baseball. Make sure you are on time for everything baseball class, homework papers, meetings all of that it’s a good habit to have and will make you a better student-athlete
Now I know all of this may seem very overwhelming, but I promise after your first-week things don’t seem all hectic. Be open-minded about things, and be eager to get all of your work done. Stay on top of your work. Don’t let your work get on top of you. All the people interviewed gave excellent advice on how to handle things, now it’s up to you to find which way works best for you and take advantage of it. This school is a great place to enjoy it, don’t be afraid to ask questions; it is the best way to learn! I hope you enjoy your freshman year here!
Coach Hamilton personal interview, November 8th 2019
Coach Sokoll personal interview, November 8th 2019
Coach Minnick personal interview, November 8th 2019
All students- personal interview, November 17th 2019