“The daily life for a college athlete is extremely busy and routine oriented. Unlike a student who is not a member of a collegiate team, the college athlete must use their time wisely and capitalize greatly on moments where they can sit and complete their academic work. With the several daily tasks an athlete has, the room for leisure time is very small. Each minute must be used with great effectiveness.” This quote exemplifies the advice that we would like to give incoming student athletes.
Living life as a student-athlete is not a straightforward feat of any denial of the universe. You are always trying to balance your social life, your sports, and your grades. The training sessions are “a killer,” meaning it is a difficult feat. It feels like a massive task to try to do any type of academic work after that. Your levels of anxiety is multiplied because you want to succeed in both areas, in your sports and school careers. By nature, if you are competitive, you will not want to settle for just a passing grade, just as you are not going to be happy with coming in third in your athletic competitions.
First, take advice from three student-athletes, Anna, Evan, and Kendra, who are on the archery team at the University of Pikeville. When asked what it is like to be a student-athlete, Anna’s response was, “it’s not difficult if I manage my time correctly where I can practice, compete and still get all of my schoolwork done and have a social life.” Evan said “It’s challenging at times. Trying to balance schoolwork and practice can be challenging. I know for me when I have an exam, I tend to focus away from my practice to get a good grade, but I put more effort into practicing then I do my schoolwork.” Kendra’s response was, “Being a student-athlete is very rewarding, but it can be irritating and confusing on top of the school. You must keep your grades up to participate, but it (schoolwork) takes up a lot of your time. I think it is worth it, but you have to want to do it.” Being a student-athlete does not come easy. At times, it can be stressful, but, in the end, you are making memories that will last a lifetime with your teammates.
The idea that college is the time to fool around and find yourself, specifically in the lives of student-athletes, is believed by most people. This reputation of jocks only playing, and drinking was provided by only some of college athletes from the past and is not a reality if you also want to succeed in school and get good grades. The student-athlete must aspire for field success and yet manage to do both their homework and schoolwork. We believe everyone deserves to have a college experience outside the classroom, regardless of how difficult all the schoolwork is. Some think student-athletes have a different college experience than regular students. As a college student-athlete, I have come to learn that I would need to work twice as hard to get good grades while earning my degree and juggling my time-consuming sports career as well as something of a social life. As I try to reconcile all these things, I will also try to adapt to the living conditions and other situations that college life decided to throw at me.
What is the determining factor in a contest between two players or two teams of equal talent that decides who wins? What divides the losers from the victors, the chumps from the champions? The biggest difference is the sum of personal motivation, your desire, your spirit, between the winner and the loser. As a student-athlete, how badly do you want to succeed? Success is not the product of pure chance or good luck in any sports endeavor. Since you are blessed, you don’t become a champion without the practice. You are making your success as an athlete. Long-lasting milestones and successes come from deep and intense encouragement. Winners possess the reward that drives them to greatness and keeps them engaged in joining the winner’s circle.
Being a student-athlete does not come easy. It is a challenging task, however its very rewarding. There is a lot of sacrifices that must be made. Desire is going to drive you towards the best and keep you there. It is the secret behind any sports winner. There is no single sports champion who was not severely driven to excel and become a winner, whether swimmers, football players, or basketball players. Being a student-athlete is worth it in the end.
Owen Sammarone, A. (n.d.). Finding Balance In Life As A College Athlete. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from https://an.athletenetwork.com/blog/finding-balance-in-life-as-a-college-athlete