Being a student athlete not only makes you a stronger person physically but also mentally. As a college cheerleader we do the impossible, we manage a full time job (our sport), school, a social life and all the other responsibilities that come along with being a College student.
While managing all of our normal responsibilities, taking on a sport in college helps us to become more determined in every aspect of our lives, and it's certainly not easy. Once you reach the college level sports become a business, It really is the closest thing to a full time job that I've ever known.
Being a student athlete is one big learning experience, from the morals and wisdom you receive from your coaches to the bigger picture of you as a person experiencing self growth.
So shout out to all of my fellow student athlete's, and the things we all know to be true, and to my college competition cheerleaders out there we are a sport, dont let anyone tell you otherwise.
1. Time management
Average college students only have to worry about homework, studying, papers and greek life, try doing all that plus be a student athlete. Add practice (sometimes 2 a days) morning workouts and games or competitons to the mix! Time management is a skill we've all acquired and without it we would probably crash and burn.
2. Commitment and dedication
Your sport is your life. If you've made it this far to the college level, congratulations because I know all the hard work you've put in to make it here. Your sport is your baby without it you might even feel lost, you don't just play college sports you literally dedicate your life to college sports, and with commitment comes success.
Everyone knows that without teamwork you probably wouldn't be able to do what you do. A team is one unbreakable bond, and at the end of the day we all have to work together to get the job done.
4. Keep on keeping on
I'm not gonna tell you it's easy because we all know it isn't. So a big lesson we've all learned is to just keep going. Yes waking up early for workouts, having late practices and games and all the other things that come along with it may almost kill you at times but at the end of the day what doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. Student athletes do the impossible.
5. Practice becomes your escape
You know you're in the right place and doing the right thing when you can look at practice as an escape from the real world. If school is getting the best of you and you are on the verge of a mental breakdown, practice will help you get that anger out.
As a student athlete you will at some point be asking yourself this question and I can guarantee more than once, whats worth more going out or winning? Probably one of the biggest aspects is learning to put your team before yourself. Yes, you might have the worst case of FOMO but just know that getting your priorities straight benefits yourself and your team.
7.Workouts are your friend
No matter the tears, or sweat or sore muscles, we all have learned that our morning workouts are actually the biggest blessing. Growing stronger physically is a huge part of being a student athlete, and yes I know waking up at the crack of dawn totally sucks but looking at the bigger picture, it's only going to benefit us all in the long run.
8. At the end of the day It's all you
Your team pushes you at practice and games, but once you leave that gym or field it's all you. You have to still get your work done, you still have to practice on your own to make yourself better. Yes, you are a part of a team but a team is only as strong as its weakest link. You have to take care of yourself and make yourself better for your team.
Being a student athlete in college means tons of opportunities. Your coaches probably give you and your teammates the ability to participate in service, appearances and fundraisers, and all of these ultimately help you as a person grow.
10. Your team is your family
You practice as a family, you win as a family and you lose as a family. In college your parents aren't there to hold your hand or give you a shoulder to cry on through every ache or pain or every late night homework assignment after practice. You now have a team who is your family.