Juggling the Life of a Student Athlete

FHAthleteNolan Potts, ‘Doah Staff Writer

There will be a group of people, the regular students, preparing themselves for their classes, and there will be another group, the student-athletes, not only preparing for classes but for their respective season as well.

Between classes, games, practices, work- outs in the weight room with Coach and the man- datory study hall hours, there’s a good chance that some freshmen student- athletes are going to feel overwhelmed very quickly during their first semester. Though it might seem al- most impossible at times to be a successful student and athlete, there are a few things you can do to make your life a whole lot easier and perform at your best athletically and academically.

The first thing to remember is something that has been preached to every athlete since they started playing their sport for their school: student comes be- fore athlete.

Not many people like to hear that but remember that you’re in college to get an education and that play- ing your respective sport is a privilege and not a right. If you slip up in the classroom and your grades aren’t very good, you could find yourself in trouble with not only your coach but also the Dean and the Athletic Director.

If you need help in a class, there are tutors available in the Academic Enrichment Center in Howe Hall. There is nothing wrong with asking for help if you’re struggling, so utilize the resources that are available to you. Another simple thing to do that will make life easier on you is simply going to class.

You are at S.U. to get an education, and it’s hard to do that if you aren’t at- tending classes. Showing up for classes also shows your professors that you care, and this is crucial in developing a good student-professor relationship.

Chances are you will miss some classes for games at some point during the semester, so being on good terms with your professor is very important. Skip- ping class just means you’re missing the material that is being taught, and that’s going to negatively affect your grade.

Last year a total of 484 student-athletes made either the Dean’s List or Athletic Director’s List. Set a goal to make the Dean’s List with above a 3.25 GPA or the Athletic Director’s List with over a 3.0 GPA.

Time management is one of the most important things an incoming fresh- man student-athlete needs to learn. Use your free time wisely and productively when you get it. Don’t sit in your dorm room playing video games knowing you have to study for an exam or get homework done.

The more you procrastinate, the more stressed out you are going to be and the worse you are going to perform in your sport and in your classes. Create a planner in your dorm room or in your phone and update it daily with class times, assignments and any other important information. With all of the time you’re going to spend at games, workouts and practices, you need to make your schoolwork a priority before you use your remain- ing free time doing the things you want to do.

Finally the last tip is pretty self-explanatory: make good decisions.

You represent not only yourself now, but also your family, S.U. and your teammates. If you make a poor decision at a party or anywhere else around Winchester, it not only makes you look bad, but it also gives your team a bad reputation that they do not deserve.

Making bad choices is also a quick way to find yourself off of your team because most coaches don’t want to deal with players who can’t make good decisions. It’s not just about you anymore; your ac- tions will affect more people than you realize so you need to make them good ones.

College is a time to have fun but you need to stay responsible at the same time and have your priori- ties straight. If playing your sport is important to you, then you do not want to do anything to jeopardize your career by doing something stupid.

College is going to be stressful, and it is going to test you in many ways. At the same time it can be one of the best times of your life if you manage it properly.

Take care of business first and then enjoy yourself with the remaining free time you have. Student-athletes have a lot on their plates, but if they keep up with their schoolwork, go to class regularly, manage their time properly and make good decisions then they have a very good chance of being successful.

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