Things They Don't Tell You As A Student Athlete

Things They Don't Tell You As A Student Athlete

The things they don't tell you when you're an incoming college athlete.
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When I say the words college athlete, what comes to your mind first? Football players, with dreams of playing in the NFL; Basketball players, almost 7 feet of glory looming over you; Baseball players, and their hopes of making it to Omaha and the College World Series? That may be what comes to mind when you think of college athletes, but what happens to everyone and everything that happens behind the scenes.

I am a student-athlete, and while I may not play basketball, or volleyball, or any of the "cool" guys sports, I am an athlete through and through. Although being a student-athlete has its perks, here are a few things they don't tell you.

As a college freshman, it's understandable that you'll be nervous. You've moved away from home, you now share a space the size of a shoebox with another human being, and you have to learn how to navigate college living- classes, studying, going out with friends, and NAPS. Now add being a collegiate athlete on top of all of this. For most, this means scheduling classes around practice, early morning workouts, fulfilling all of your required duties, and study hall.

When you come to visit, they tell you all of these things and make it sound so easy.

I've been in here almost a semester now, and I can tell you that it is nowhere near as easy as they make it seem. Everyone tells you that college is hard, and you used to roll your eyes and say yeah, yeah I know. LISTEN to them! Universities are way harder than the hardest classes you took in high school, or even at a junior college.

At orientation, no one mentions that when they tell you that you may need a tutor for a class, it's not a suggestion. Get a tutor as soon as you can and stay on top of it. They also don't tell you that learning how to study in constant noise, or a group setting is crucial. Especially for athletes in study hall. (Pro tip- invest in noise-canceling headphones) No one mentions that making study friends with other athletes can be a blessing and a curse. You both have to log hours in study hall so you'll see each other which is great. It's just not so great when you both miss class for athletics and were counting on the other to get the notes.

Aside from academics, no one tells you that you should treat the personal trainer like royalty. Visit them every time you have the smallest inkling that there could be something wrong. It could save your ability to compete this season. Also, learn to ask the upperclassmen for advice, whether it be about coaches, or practice, or workouts, or even something completely unrelated.

College can be a huge learning curve, and athletics can add just that much more chaos to your already crazy life. Learn to ask for help, know that it's okay to have a breakdown now and then, and just enjoy the ride. You only get to live it for a short while.


Cover Image Credit: TCU Equestrian

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14 Female Volleyball Players Who Are More Beautiful Than Any Movie Star

They work hard at their craft, they are intelligent people, and have dreams and goals just like most of you do.
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Let's be real, movie stars are attractive. Straight up beautiful. They look great on their stage.

However, you can say the same thing, perhaps more, about athletes, especially volleyball players. Most of them are tall, but they're all talented. However, that's not all that they are. They're beautiful-appearing people too.

1. Sarah Wilhite (Minnesota)

Wilhite plays for Busto Arsizio in the Italian league and played her colege ball in the twin cities at the University of Minnesota. She's a hometown girl through and through. This 6'1" outside hitter is a master at her craft and continues to grow in her career as a professional athlete.

2. Kathryn Plummer (Stanford)

Plummer is a rising sophomore at Stanford, but she was one of the elite players in the country as a freshman, bringing home AVCA freshman of the year honors, as well as being all-conference and all-freshman as a freshman. She plays the beach volleyball variety (which is a tougher surface to play on because the surface is more uneven, making the conditions tougher) on top of being on the indoor volleyball team. Plummer is a versatile physical specimen too, playing both the outside hitter and setter positions, and at 6' 6", her length makes her a match-up nightmare for any opposing player. She's pursuing a career in physical therapy after her playing career is finished, which seems like it will be a long time before she does so.

3. Hayley Densberger (Nebraska)

She knows what her role is on the team and she does it well, similar to a movie star. This 5'9" rising sophomore also shows you that you don't have to be the 'stereotypically tall' specimen like Kathryn Plummer to succeed at the collegiate level in volleyball.

4. Stephanie Samedy (Minnesota)

Stephanie Samedy is a do-it-all player for Minnesota. At 6'2", she is a tall weapon on the outside that has more than lived up to her no.5 ranking of overall recruits aiming to play volleyball in college. She teamed up with fellow-gopher Sarah Wilhite as an opposite hitter to form a formidable 1-2 punch on offense. Samedy was just a freshman this past season, and the sky is the limit for her.

5. Sabrina Smith (University of California - Los Angeles)

Smith is a 6'4" rising sophomore who plays collegiately at UCLA. Over the course of high school leading into college, she has always understood the importance of being a clutch player making clutch plays, and as a middle blocker, you can depend on her to rise to the occasion.

6. Lauren Carlini (Wisconsin)

This former Wisconsin Badger is another do-it-all player on the volleyball court. At 6'2", she is versatile both inside and outside, where she is primarily a setter, but can step up to make a block on defense. She is currently a member of the United States women's Olympic volleyball team.

7. Micha Hancock (Pennsylvania State)

Hancock is a Penn State graduate and 2-time national champion as a collegiate volleyball player. She also plays with Lauren Carlini on the U.S. olympic team, and is a setter just like Carlini, even though Hancock is 5'11" compared to 6'2" for Carlini. Micha and Lauren competed in the Big Ten together for two seasons and against one another in the national championship in 2013. Additionally, Micha Hancock is best known for her jump-serve, which is a rocket off her left hand, and currently plays professionally in Italy for Impel Wroclaw, on top of being a member of the U.S. Olympic team.

8. Madison Lilley (Kentucky)

Lilley just finished her freshman season at Kentucky, where she was a part of the roster that marched to the elite eight before falling to the national champion (Nebraska). Lilley was the best setter in her state (Kansas) coming out of high school, and was a high school All-American on top of being named high school player of the year as a junior. As a 5'11" setter, Madison excels at her role and will continue to develop as a player while she competes to win championship(s) for Big Blue Nation.

9. Carli Snyder (Florida)

Carli Snyder grew up a short drive away from where I live (Macomb, Mich.) and you can't help but appreciate the fact she traveled cross-country to Gainesville, Fl. (University of Florida) to pursue her education and athletic endeavors. She is a tremendous talent, having garnered AVCA recognitions as an All-American honorable mention and was all SEC as a junior in 2016. On top of that, she epitomizes the term 'student-athlete', as she appeared on the academic honor roll as a true freshman. At 6'1", she is a deadly weapon as an outside hitter and can use her long frame to extend over blockers. Snyder has graduated from Florida with a degree in African International Studies.

10. Kara Bajema (Washington)

Bajema is a versatile front-court player for the University of Washington. After playing the middle blocker position as a true freshman and to start her season as a sophomore, she moved outside as a hitter as a sophomore, a position she excelled at in high school. At 6'2", she has the length to outlast blockers and can also be a nightmare for opposing hitters. She was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team in 2016 and was also an all-conference honorable mention as a true freshman.

11. Sydney Wetterstrom (Michigan)

Wetterstrom is heading into her junior season at Michigan, and has performed well in her first two years on the roster as an outside hitter. She has been a big-time player against the best competition, especially as a sophomore, especially in her performance against a top-10 Michigan State team. Coming out of high school, she was a top-100 recruit and has lived up to expectations since arriving in Ann Arbor. Sydney is also a scholar-athlete at Michigan and is poised for a big junior year.

12. Morgan Kull (Auburn)

Morgan Kull is similar to Hayley Densberger who was mentioned earlier, where both of them are 5'9" serving specialists, although Kull only played in three matches this past season at Auburn. Kull is a bonafide student-athlete, where she was academic All-Conference all four years in high school. Also during her high school days, Morgan was named the United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete as a senior and was a captain in two different seasons. The future is bright for Morgan Kull at Auburn.

13. Kaylin Korte (Clemson)

Korte hasn't seen a whole lot of playing time yet since she is just finished sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules. Before Kaylin enrolled initially at Illinois, she excelled as a high school player, earning AVCA All-American honors as a senior and also being both an all-conference player three times AND a three-time MVP at her high school. There is a lot of potential for the 6'0" sophomore outside hitter to fulfill at Clemson and she has the ability to do so.

14. Lindsey Ruddins (University of California - Santa Barbara)

Ruddins is a 6'2" rising fourth-year junior outside hitter for the Gauchos (Yes, that is their nickname!) and is one of the most mentally tough players in the country. Yet she overcame that and still received All-American honors as a third-year sophomore, and set an NCAA record 5.84 kills per set. She's a player who can carry your team with her arm, and because she's 6'2", Ruddins has the length to overmatch opposing blockers. She's reached an All-Conference and All-American level of performance in just two years of collegiate volleyball, so she is a force to be reckoned with for future opponents.

* * *

As you can see, these female volleyball players have the talent to match their beauty. They work hard at their craft, they are intelligent people, and have dreams and goals just like most of you do. The volleyball players listed are not the only beautiful volleyball players, as these are just 14 of the many who compete across the world.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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It's Safe To Say The Lessons I Learned In Little League Loom Large As An Adult

Little League gave me the social skills, leadership skills, confidence, and courage to pursue everything I do now.
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Looking at me now you would have never thought I was an athlete.

I'm accident prone and can usually be found listening to show tunes. However, I played softball for ten years. I also consider one of my biggest accomplishments being the first person on my tee ball team to hit the ball without the tee. Without softball, I can safely say I wouldn't have the skill sets I have today. Thank you softball for the memories.

Thank you for teaching me character. Through softball, I had to learn to be a good winner, as well as a good loser. I was taught not to quit and always to keep striving for my goals. I tried out for my town's travel team twice before making the team but I kept going until I made it.

Thank you for showing me how to have courage. Softball taught me to be confident in my abilities. I had to have courage when I let the coaches take away the tee. I had to have courage whenever I had a catch with friends because I was scared of the ball.

Thank you for giving me amazing memories with my dad. My dad started off coaching my team as just something to do. He went on to become the manager and then managed the travel team as well. Eventually, he won manager of the year. Because of my years in softball, my Dad and I always have something to talk about and we can always have a good time.

The greatest lesson I learned was loyalty. For the years I played my best friends were the girls on my team. We would do anything for each other and were always there for each other. I didn't make the travel team when I tried out the first time, but I still went to their games and cheered them on.

Playing sports has given me memories to last a lifetime. To most people 15-0 means nothing, but to me that's the time my team went undefeated. That was the year we strived to be the best and would not settle for less.

Little League gave me the social skills, leadership skills, confidence, and courage to pursue everything I do now. I try to be as outgoing as possible and would never betray a friend. I take on leadership roles in many activities all because of what I learned from softball.

4-years-old me would never have thought that softball would have given me so much but here we are now. When I look back on childhood, I think of softball and I say thank you for the memories and the skills.

Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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