Being a student athlete is one of the hardest things there is to do. You find yourself having to make to make two full time commitments, one to your professors who expects you to fully commit yourself to the classroom and one to your coach who expects you to fully commit yourself to your sport. There is no remorse in the life of a student athlete, neither professor nor coach cares if you’re too tired trying to balance the two in your life. If you spent all night studying for a class your coach is not going to let you sleep in and if you spent all day working on your sport your professor won’t give you any slack. Aside from being a tough life to live there are many benefits to being a college students athlete as well. Sports teach lifelong skills that have extreme value and cannot be learned outside of sports. Also being a student athlete forces you to be so busy that you don’t have time to get in trouble like other college students may. Being a student athlete means much more than what it’s shown to be, you learn critical life lessons through your sport, you learn to deal with stress on a different level and you become bonded to your team like a family.
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A college team is always changing; especially at the community college level you only see a big part of the team for only a year before they move on to a four year. At the beginning of the season you look to most of these players as just a group of guys of even your competition for your position. But as you progress through the off season your look upon these men changes, instead of your competition you see a team all striving for the same goal. Eventually this team isn’t just as team but becomes a family. When your teammate is out of the field and you’re not you clinch your teeth for them to make the play instead of fail which could give you a chance to play. At practice you push you’re hardest to force the only players to do the same. When a whole team achieves this it creates something special, a team destine for greatness.
Being a student athlete can bring a lot of stress causing them to lose concentration in both school and their sport. Stress can be a major problem that can eventually cause a student to not only quit in their sport, but also drop out of school all together. Being a student athlete causes more stress than typically any other reasoning for a college student to be stressed. For example when an athlete has a game coming up and a big project due the same night it will cause a lot stress. The one way that a student athlete can avoid having this type of stress is finishing their school work ahead of time, so they can relax after the game. This strain can also cause an athlete to stop doing a sport completely for a little while and entirely focus on their school. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but stopping a sport for any time period will interrupt the growth of an athlete’s skill in their sport. Having good time management could be a determining factor of winning a State Championship or not for the team. It’s granted that no athlete wants to be the one that ruins winning a State Championship just because they don’t plan in advance. If a student athlete is in a sport that is individual such as tennis or golf this can cause even more stress due to the amount of pressure the sport causes alone. The goal to being a good student athlete is to have time management and not be a procrastinator. An athlete must also have good valued characteristics because in most case they are looked upon as role models. When a student goes to college they will develop into the adult they want to be in the future. Being in a sport while in college can give that student some of the respectable characteristics that they will need in the future. Bob Richards once said “One of the great lessons I’ve learned in athletics is that you’ve got to discipline your life. No matter how good you may be, you’ve got to be willing to cut out of your life those things that keep you from going to the top.” Being an athlete means you must know what will help you move forward and what will take you back and remove what will take you back. Being an athlete also gives you leadership qualities that can’t be learned elsewhere because you are placed into situations where quick decisions must be made. Athletes also have good respect towards others otherwise they would get punished in their sports for having disrespect. Being an athlete or not everybody probably agrees that having to run for being disrespectful is unquestionably not worth it. Student athletes are usually respected by others because they understand how the athletes have to work hard and are always strong-minded to succeed.
Most people believe the idea that college is the time for messing around and discovering yourself, especially in the life of student athletes. The college athlete has been given this reputation of jocks only playing and partying. This is very untrue, the student athlete must strive for excellence of the field and still manage to do all their homework and school work. Regardless of how tough all the school work is, I believe everyone deserves to have a college experience outside the classroom. Some believe that student Athlete’s lead a different college experience than a normal student. As a college student athlete myself, I have come to learn that I am going to need to work twice as hard to be able to receive good grades while earning my degree along with balancing my time consuming baseball career. While I am trying to balance all of these things I am also going to try to be adjusting to the living circumstances and other situations the college life decided to throw at me.
All college students tolerate and encounter some of the same situations. The college life is a huge change from life in high school. In college students usually move away from the comfort of their homes and no longer live under the protection of their parents. Most student athletes like myself have always been juggling their school work and sports as long as they can remember. Because I’ve always had a sport to go along with school I’ve never had the chance to be as full time student. In high school I was always playing a sport or dedicating my time to become better in one. It gives a student an unfair advantage over student athletes because they can spend this time becoming a better student. Although, there are many issues college students and college student athletes share, there are also a lot of problems they do not. Life can be stressful at times for every college student, but your normal college students have additional time to deal with whatever problems that occur. From witnessing college students around me, I have come to the assumption that all college students will sleep as much as they can. In most cases this would mean sleeping until you have to attend class, which most likely starts around nine for most students. Your standard course load for a typical college student is around fifteen units, which averages around ten to twelve hours a week. Once a college student attends all of his or her classes for the day they are usually free to do whatever they desire. With this extra free time the student has, it is mostly devoted to their social life. Since there normally is a good amount of extra time on the college student’s life they can usually have a pretty decent social life outside of school.
The life of a college student athlete is structured closely to a normal student’s life but has much more added on top. Although, your typical class normally starts around nine or eight, most athletes are required to have to be up much earlier for study hall and/or practice depending on the sport. Not being able to sleep in very much in the mornings, I celebrate when I have a class at ten and I can go home after study hall or lifting and sleep for that extra hour. After school is over for the day, a college student athlete is rarely free to do what they wish; the majority of the time, there is either practice or games to be attended too. After a long day of class and practice you get to finally go home and do homework and study. With all of their time dedicated to the sport they play, the majority of college student athletes don’t have much of a social life separate from their teammates. While most of an athlete’s close friends are their teammates, it feels more as if a family than just simply friends. Throughout the chaotic schedules of athletes, they can still find some spare time to socialize with other friends. The difference is that every student athlete has a target on their back and constantly has eyes watching them so they must be very cautious of what they do outside of school.
Being a student athlete is hard but college can still be fun. Nothing helps clear a writer’s block more than going outside and throwing a baseball to clear my head. It is still unsure if student athletes or regular college student’s party and get in trouble more. But what I am sure of is that a student athlete will run a whole lot quick when the police come because of the fear of having to face the consequences from their coaches. The truth of the matter is college is no breeze for anyone student; college as a whole is a lot of hard work and commitment. The majority of student athletes have respect, are good leaders, and are very passionate about their school work and their sport. I personally believe the life of a student athlete can be more difficult in some parts than it is for college students but the life lessons you learn from being an athlete can never be learned anywhere else.
Although my essay strides away from the main topic of the assignment I felt that writing this essay would help me develop as a student. I did extensive research of the benefits and withdraws of being a student athlete and wanted to argue the point that people make that student athletes care less about their school work.
1. Academic and Athletic Reform. American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, Victor Bondi, Richard Layman, Tandy McConnell, and Vincent Tompkins. Vol. 9: 1980-1989. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Word Count: 550.
2 College Athletics. BRADLEY JAMES BATES, JOHN R. THELIN, JASON R. EDWARDS, ROBERT E. STAMMER, Jr., RACHEL M. MADSEN, THOMAS PASKUS,, et al. Encyclopedia of Education. Ed. James W. Guthrie. Vol. 1. 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. p344-371. Word Count: 15416.
3. College and High School Sports. Sports in America: Recreation, Business, Education and Controversy. Robert Jacobson. 2006 ed. Detroit: Information Plus, 2006. p69-94. Word Count: 8791.
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