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Student-Athlete Life

The life as a student-athlete is both challenging and rewarding. Balancing your academic and athletic commitments can be difficult, but you receive great support from your coaches, academic advisors, other athletes, as well as your class mates.

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Key Takeaways

  • You will be part of a success driven team culture that works towards a common goal
  • Being a student-athlete means performing well at both; academics and athletics
  • Your coaches and academic advisors will support you to balance and succeed in both

What to expect:

Life as a student-athlete comes with many challenges, and can be very competitive. However it is also very rewarding, and can prepare you for a very successful future.

Out of 7 million American high school students who play sports only 480,000 (6.9%) move on to play at the collegiate level. When playing at the next level. you can expect a much more professional and intense training environment. Below are some of the major factors describing your life as a student-athlete.

1. Team Culture

Team culture is one of the major keys to a high performing team. You will be spending a lot of time with your teammates- practicing together everyday, traveling for competitions, taking similar classes, studying together, and even living together. This is why it is important to find a team that you feel would be a good fit for you during the recruiting process.

2. Intense Training

The training will not only be at a much higher level, as you’re playing with upperclassmen who have more experience, but most sports will also require much more time spent practicing. Most sports require daily doubles, typically in the form of weight or strength training combined with normal practice.

3. Professional Environment

To accompany a very high level of training, colleges provide their sports programs with top-class facilities and training staff. Typically you will have weight rooms specifically for student athletes, training rooms with all necessary rehab and recovery tools, on top of highly trained staff to assist with weight routines, injuries, rehab, and even nutrition.

4. Optimized Schedules

Student-athlete schedules can be very busy, so your time must be optimized. Your training sessions will be aligned to fit between your classes and oftentimes you will have study hall sessions laid out in your schedule to provide dedicated time for homework.

5. Student-Athlete Status

Athletes are strong representatives for colleges, meaning athletes are oftentimes a public figure on campus, which also comes with being held to a higher standard and portraying yourself in a manner that is aligned with the universities values.

Advantages as Student-Athlete:

Your unique status as a student-athlete brings about several advantages compared to a normal college student. There are many ways in which you have increased support as you navigate life as a student-athlete.

1. Continues Support

Your entire experience as a student-athlete will be accompanied by continual support. In addition to your coaches, you will have specific academic advisors that are there to assist you with anything relating to your studies.

Academic advisory: They can set you up with tutors, help arrange taking quizzes and tests when your travel schedule conflicts with class, and help you adjust your class schedule to best manage your time. Whether it’s your coaches, athletic trainers, advisors, or even tutors- everyone is highly interested in your success as a student and an athlete, and will help by all means possible.

2. Improved Career Opportunities

Playing college sports not only provides more pathways to going pro, but also provides many career opportunities. Many companies, especially those in the sports industry, prefer hiring former student-athletes, due to their competitiveness, discipline, and time management skills.

3. Self-Organization

Due to your stressful schedule of training and studies, you will very quickly learn effective time-management skills, and how to organize your days most efficiently. Time management and organizations skills will be a great aid to your life after college.

4. Lifetime Friendships

College is a very unique experience because you spend the majority of your time with your friends and teammates. Throughout your college career you will build life-long friends from all over the country and even the world. Many colleges recruit athletes globally, which provides a multicultural environment for student-athletes.

5. Financial Stability

With athletic scholarships and other financial support for student-athletes, you are much more likely to leave college in a better financial position than the average college grad. Student athletes are often able to graduate with much less debt which can relieve financial burdens for a lifetime.

6. Resources for Student-Athletes

    • Equipment, Travel Gear, and Medical Care
    • Exclusive Dining Halls and Meal Points
    • Tutoring, Hotel Stays, Transportation

However, even without a scholarship there are many benefits to joining a college sports program. Even if you have to pay tuition, your costs and expenses as a student-athlete will be very minimal.

Not only are student-athletes provided with essential needs for their sports, such as equipment, travel gear and physio, but they are given many resources for free that normal students wouldn’t have. Things such as tutoring and exclusive dining halls or meal points.

Additionally, according to NCAA rules, the sport programs are required to provide their athletes with sufficient pre- and post game meals, hotel stays, transportation and additional spending money on trips. But keep in mind currently the NCAA does not allow athletes to be paid above the cost of living expenses.

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