Every time I work college games, I can’t help but reminisce about my time as a college athlete. An ex-teammate of mine recently shared this quick video clip about student-athletes and it struck up some thoughts….
He nailed it on the head.
How do you schedule classes?
Coaches send you the practice block and game schedule and say good luck. Usually this meant you were taking all 8am classes…and/or running to class from practice or vice versa.
Balance and Stigma:
I think balance is the most difficult part of being a student-athelte. Like Sherman stated in his interview, practice isn’t all there is to being college athlete. Days start at 6 or 7am with weights or individual practice, go to class, head to practice, watch film then back to a night class or to team study hall.
Most days my teammates and I would show up to class out of breath with some dirt on our faces, a messy bun and ice bags strapped all over our bodies. The looks and eye rolls some students would give was not very welcoming. They would be dressed nicely, hair and make-up in place, pens and highlighters in a row, ready to take on their day. Little did they know, we were just as prepared, but with half the time and sleep to get there. Our classmates didn’t see us in the library because we were studying on busses, planes, airports, in the dinning halls and the training room. We even had to turn in a weekly study log
In my eyes, my education wasn’t free. I worked hard. Very hard. Loyola was no walk in the park. I think I could speak for all my teammates in saying that with the time we had, we were focused and did take advantage of the incredible opportunity we earned.
When I watch these college games, I know it much more than the game. I think that’s why emotions run so high during tournament time. So much happens behind the scenes that we do not know. On and off the court are blood, sweat and tears.I think it is safe to say that none of us would have it any other way.
Moral of the story: I am not taking away anything from students who did not play sports in college. I know that others had jobs and other obstacles to overcome. No situation is ever easy, which is why no one ever has the right to judge or base opinions on anyone else until they walk a mile in their shoes.
Here is my favorite picture from Loyola. Our senior year on a 14 day trip all around California. Late night game…
It only took 4 years, but we finally beat Cal State Fullerton!