Being a college athlete is the best... and the worst. The opportunity to continue playing the sport you love is an honor and should not be taken for granted. While being a college athlete has it’s perks, it is also one of the most exhausting times you will experience.
As athletes, we look at college athletics as an opportunity to improve our game and making it to the next level. College athletics opens up a variety of new opportunities: new teammates, new opponents, a new playing field, and a new style of play. The new friendships and relationships that are formed with teammates on and off the playing field are indescribable. I can’t say enough how thankful I am to have the opportunity to play basketball at Bethel University; there is nothing like continuing to play the game you love.
There is nothing better than spending each day with your teammates and coaches; making memories on and off the playing field. There is nothing better than those pre- game jam sessions in the locker room. There is nothing better than winning a big game and getting victory ice cream. And c’mon, the free laundry? You don’t know how much that saves us as college athletes. These are just a few of the things that we can't take for granted.
However, being a student athlete is not just fun and games.
We work our butts off each and every day. We are tired. Exhausted. Mentally, physically and emotionally. Our bodies are drained. We practice for at least two hours a day, if not more; not including lifting, film, and scouting reports. We go on long bus rides to games and believe me, waking up for that 8 am the next morning is not fun and having those bags underneath your eyes is not attractive. We go through pre-season and post-season workouts; there is no such thing as an off day for a college athlete. ALL college athletes have worked hard to be where they are.
Here’s just a glimpse at my own personal schedule that compares to many other athletes: On Tuesday’s I have class starting at 8:30-10:10 am. After I have class 11:10-1:50 pm and a little lunch break until I have to go to class again from 2:25-4:00 pm. At 4:00 pm we begin practice with either film or lifting and then make our way up to the basketball court. Practice would end around 6:45 pm and then the team rushes to the Dining Center to eat, which leaves the time at about 8 pm after showering and getting back to the dorm room. Now how do you expect us to fit spending time with friends, doing homework, and getting 8 hours of sleep in a day? That is beyond me.
One of the toughest things of being a college athlete is maintaining enough time to get studies and homework done. With limited time to do homework during the day, our nights consist of staying up till the crack of dawn. The countless days of practices, games, tests, and homework take a toll on our bodies. Our teachers expect us to be in class with all assignments done. Our coaches then expect us to have all our focus and attention in practice or on the game that night. What we have to remember is that in the word student- athlete, STUDENT comes first.
College athletes are some tough cookies if you ask me. With all of the hardships that we as college student athletes endure, there is no way we could change a thing because of our love for the game. Some days are harder than others, but in the end, be thankful for the opportunity to continue playing the sport you love and attack each day with confidence.