Student-athletes face many challenges. They have to get up early in the morning for trainings, study late at night, and balance it all properly. During the school year, their schedule is usually hectic. Still, they keep on managing it. Now, since they have a chance to collect money and make a sporting career, even more students become athletes. But what about those who do not pursue these goals? To understand why students choose college sports, let us learn their personal experiences.
1. Julian McWilliams — Baseball, Ohio University:
“Combining sports and study was really tough for me. I had to wake up at 6 o’clock for weight lifting and then I had classes from 8 am till 3 pm. Afterwards, I had a practice from 3.45 pm till 6 pm. At 8 pm, I would go to a study hall and go to bed no earlier than 12.30 am. Due to the lack of sleep, I fell ill a lot. My coach did not give me any easy time. Unfortunately, I got a couple of shoulder traumas that hampered my career. Still, after two years of rehab, I started playing pro in New Mexico.
Yes, it was tough. However, it was worth it. Even though I did not get to the minor league baseball, I managed to become a pro. Without my college experience, I wouldn’t even have enough courage to do this.”
2. Paul Raushenbush — Swimming, Macalester College:
“My college was very small and more known for freaks and political activists than athletes. And that’s why it was so cool to be an athlete. It wasn’t serious, so we had a lot of fun and just enjoyed swimming and being healthy. It was absolutely fantastic.”
3. Kim Bellware — Soccer, Valparaiso University:
“I was playing in premier league travel soccer team for my whole life. It felt a little crazy to practice so much (we even had 6 am trainings in offseason) and not even get scholarship or have a chance to go pro. Due to that, for me there was little glory and no money in playing. Nevertheless, the relationships we built with my teammates were what made everything worth it. I’m still friends with my coach and most of my teammates.”
4. Carly Ledbetter — Volleyball, Elon University:
“Being a student-athlete literally gave me everything. I had my education, board and food paid for. But what is more important – it gave me my friends. With all the ups and downs, my teammates and coach wanted me to strive for excellence and succeed. I’ll never stop valuing this experience. Even though I had to do all this crazy stuff – balancing my schedules and having no free time – if I were to go back, I’d do it all again.”
5. Hollis Miller — Squash, Williams College:
“I never wanted to go pro in my college sports. And of course, this experience was not an easy one. But still, it was wonderful to make so many friends through my team and spend such a great time with them.”