As if college weren’t difficult enough, imagine adding a varsity sport onto an already strenuous college lifestyle. I honestly find it so small-minded when people say, “You should be getting straight A’s, you have all the academic support in the world, why shouldn’t you”? Well, let me take you through one of my days.
First, I wake up at around 7:30 in the morning and take a shower. If I’m not already late, I try and grab at least a little snack, preferably a granola bar, before my 8 a.m. class. After my 8 o’clock, I meet my athletic trainer at nine to revive my legs from yesterday’s practice. This usually requires some stretching and physical therapy like electrostimulation. This goes on for about an hour, and then I’m on the go again towards my 10 a.m. class. To fit my schedule, like most athletes, I have classes back to back from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. I have athletic training before practice at 12:15 every day, so my lunch usually consists of a sandwich I had made the night before or something quick, like Subway. Then I spend the next hour and 45 minutes going through physical therapy to help strengthen my legs and make them more durable.
Straight from physical therapy I head to our mandatory team lifts at two o’clock. From lifting, we go to practice at 3:15 until around 5:30 or so. Post-practice, I take a shower and revisit my trainer once again for some ice to cool down my legs or whatever other part of my body is sore from that day. By this time it is about 6 o’clock, right in time for study hall. I grab something on the go once again or maybe sit down in Salmo for about 10 minutes and eat before I am required to get my study hall hours in; 8 per week. I grab a coffee quickly so I don’t pass out while studying. It’s around 9 or 9:30 when my roommate and I finally make it back to our room. As soon as my body hits the mattress and the television lights up, I am sleeping like a baby.
No, I don’t think college athletes are given enough time to really take advantage of the free education that they’re given, and it’s frustrating because a lot of people get upset with student-athletes and say they’re not focused on school and they’re not taking advantage of the opportunity they’re given. I would love for a regular student to have a student-athlete’s schedule during the season for just one quarter or one semester and show me how you balance that.
Richard Sherman, professional football player for the Seattle Seahawks, who went through the same rigorous schedule, agrees. It really is tough work; you have to be very disciplined and dedicated to yourself in order to be able to keep up at the Division 1 level. I highly encourage anyone who doesn’t already play a sport to do this for one semester and see how your opinions change.