11 Reasons To Play A Sport In College

11 Reasons To Play A Sport In College

It's the best decision you will ever make
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The decision to continue playing a beloved sport in college is a tough one. For me, it was not easy to decide to play soccer in college, but I am very grateful and glad that I did. Playing soccer in college was the best decision I ever made and I do not regret it, however, playing a sport in college is a lot different than playing a sport in high school. You have to be dedicated and self-motivated to be able to continue on in college. If you are having troubling deciding if you should play a sport in college, here are 11 reasons why you should continue to play the sport you love.

1. Support

As a college athlete, you will get the support from some of the most influential people in your life. Your coaches, teammates, and trainers will help you with anything and everything you need. Everything from emotional slumps to academic goals. It is nice to have people who have your back.

2. Time Management

You are not only a student at your college or university, but also an athlete. Practice, games, tests, homework, and projects are all equally important as a student-athlete. You learn how to manage your time to get both your workouts in and do your homework and study as a student-athlete. You learn that time is valuable and waste as little of it as possible.

3. Fitness

As a college student, you will notice that many of your non-athlete friends struggle with working out and gaining weight. They just can't seem to find the time to workout and the food in the cafeteria has begun to give them the notorious "freshman fifteen." Student athletes already have their workouts built into their schedule and learn proper nutrition for their bodies, so they avoid weight gain and unhealthy habits. Your body will thank you for playing a sport in college.

4. Academic Motivation

Most college athletic programs require a minimum GPA to be eligible to participate in competitions and games. As a student-athlete, your grades must be above the minimum GPA of both your institution and athletic division so that you can play. Coaches also make sure their athletes are keeping up with their grades and will even encourage team study tables so that the team makes grade requirements

.

5. Financial Aid/ Scholarships

A bonus to continuing to play the sport you love is that many (however not all) college athletic programs will give you a scholarship or some sort of financial aid for playing. Although plenty of student-athletes play in college not just for the scholarships, it is nice to be rewarded for all the time and effort you put into your sport.

6. Stress Reliever

College is hard and the bottom line is is that it is stressful. Students are overwhelmed in college and need something to help reduce their stress. Playing a sport in college is the perfect way to let off some steam and take a break from all the studying, homework, and projects. Physical activity helps reduce stress and anxiety and will make you a better, happier student.

7. Gives You Energy

College students are commonly said to be lazy and tired all the time. If you are a student-athlete though, you will most likely have more energy than your non-athlete friends. Physical activity helps pump more oxygen and blood throughout the body to all your body systems. The more oxygen and blood pumped, the more active you will feel. The extra energy you gain will help you manage your busy schedule and get everything done.

8. Friendships

Your teammates will become some of the most important people in your life. As a freshman, your teammates will be some of the first people you meet when you get to campus. You spend hours each day with your team at practices and games and will get very close with them very easily. Many of your best friends will be your teammates if you decide to play a college sport.

9. Sense of Purpose

Being a part of something makes you feel like you have a purpose. By playing on a college athletic team, you will feel like you are important to the team and will develop a sense of purpose. Each member of the team is valuable in different ways. You really feel like you belong and are an asset to your team as a college athlete. When you achieve both your individual and team goals, you will get your sense of purpose.

10. Commitment and Dedication

College athletes learn valuable lessons. Playing a sport in college is somewhat similar to having a job. If you don't show up to practice, your position on the team is in jeopardy. Sometimes it is hard to choose to stay in when your friends are going out because you have practice in the morning, or you wish you could go to the movies, but you have a game. However, as a college athlete, you must be dedicated and committed to the team. Learning to be committed and dedicated is important, because once you graduate, you will have to be committed to the career you choose.

11. Deepen your Passion

You have loved this sport your whole life, and the opportunity to play in college is a blessing not everyone has. If you get the chance to play in college, take it. High school athletes take playing a sport for granted, and as a college athlete, you are given the opportunity to continue to do what you love for the next for years.

Cover Image Credit: St. Ambrose Athletics

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The 5 Stages Of Watching The MLB Postseason

Every fan's experience when watching the playoffs.

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The MLB postseason is underway which means it's about to be an emotional roller coaster for the fans. Streaks can be broken, legacies can be made, new stars will be born and tears will most certainly fall. But most fans will certainly go through the same stages of love and hate throughout the postseason.

1. Complaining about the one game Wild Card

This is definitely one of the dumbest things ever added to a sports season. You have every team play 162 games for six months of the year. After all of that hard work and grind it all comes down to a SINGLE game? It makes no sense, how couldn't it be a three-game series? You added the game to add even more baseball to a season so it's not like having two more games could hurt you.

2. Defending a player who's had a bad year by saying "The playoffs are a different season." 

Everybody is guilty of this. There's always that one guy who wants to poke fun at your players regular season number. It's infuriating, you can't dig up a stat that's good because baseball has so many with pretty confusing acronyms. So instead of people just go with saying that the playoffs are a different season. The stats are all set back to zero which gives the players some confidence. It also puts the haters in the mental pretzel.

3. Getting mad when your game is on MLB Network

Get it through your head MLB. Not every one has your stupid network.

4. Streaming mid day games during lectures/work

Let's be real everyone who cares about baseball does it. Is it a good thing to do? No probably not. But would you sacrifice a day on notes or a day of work to see your favorite team make history? Yes.

5. Living and dying on every pitch

It's a hard life to live with literally no sense of relaxation during a game. I couldn't tell you how many times I fidget or yell whenever the Red Sox are playing (especially now that they're playing the Yankees). A lot of neighbors will be mad and friends will question your sanity. But when your team is able to pull through, the emotional relief and happiness are so great you couldn't even think of watching the game a different way.

If by this point you've been reading this with a whole lot of head nods and "Oh, yeah, that's me." It isn't a shameful thing because you're not alone. Playoffs bring out the best from players and fans which is truly the beauty of sports.

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