If you have decided to give your life to a college sport like I have, you will understand the struggles that come with it.
- The Commitment: When all of your friends are getting ready to go out on a Friday night, you're buckling down getting ready for bed at 8:00 because there’s a game you have to preform your best at the next day. Oh yeah, not to mention having to wake up at 4:45 AM to catch the team bus, while your roommate is sleeping happily until 10:00 AM on a Saturday morning. On top of that, you can forget about getting to go home for school breaks, because I guarantee any Division 1 athlete could name one break they had to stay at school for due to their sport season. Say goodbye to summer, you fall athletes. Say goodbye to Christmas, you winter athletes, and say goodbye to spring break, you spring athletes.
- The Demands/Pressure: If you think there was pressure to preform well in high school, try having the pressure to preform your best in college. If you made it on the team, you made it for a reason, and to constantly have to reach the required standards to keep up with the team is arguably more pressure than freshman move in day, in my opinion. While everyone else is eating late night pizza, cheesy quesadillas, and potato chips, you have to stick to the healthy proteins so you can survive the lift you have the next day. Talk about a disappointment. Who wants chicken and almonds at 1:00 AM?
- Weather: In high school, you praised mother nature when it rained, because you knew exactly what that meant. NO PRACTICE. If you assumed that would be the same case in college, you are so far from the truth, and I laugh at your assumption. Being a Division 1 athlete entails preforming rain or shine, snow or shine, 10 degrees or shine. There is nothing mother nature can possibly do to help you out anymore. Grab your jacket and get outside. College sports stop for nothing, and neither will you.
- The Balance: When you are a Division 1 athlete, it is so easy to put your sport first and forget about what you’re really in college for. A career. Learning to balance taking part in a sport, 5 classes, clubs, and maintaining a social life can be hard to juggle sometimes, but somehow athletes manage to do this, and still have time to breathe. And sleep (sometimes).
- The Mentality: There is an unspoken mentality every student athlete has, and that is what gets them though each day. There will always be some days when you are completely not feeling any motivation to workout or try hard, but in college, that is not an excuse to refrain from being the best you can be at practice, or in a game 100% of the time. The constant intensity, aggression, and drive to be the best are what always have to overpower that little devil on your left shoulder telling you not to always put in your all. The mental battle of being a Division 1 athlete is definitely the biggest struggle of all, and sometimes the days end with your mind and body being completely drained and exhausted. No matter what, the next day is waiting.
Aside from the struggles, there is something very rewarding in each day of taking part in a college sport. That being, surviving the workout. You can say to yourself: I just completed a workout that most people don't have the motivation to do. It’s an accomplishment. The sweat, blood, and tears put in to be a successful college athlete all pays off in the end. It keeps you on your game - literally. Sometimes working out can even be a way to cleanse the mind and forget about the other stresses you have for a few hours. Plus, you get a sizable amount of free quality clothing. That was my bribe. If you have the opportunity to take part in a Division 1 sports team, absolutely do it. The struggles are worth it.