With long hours spent at practice or off-season training, it’s no wonder that college athletes have to learn how to balance everything, including personal relationships.
College athletics are demanding. As Keene State College baseball player, John Tarascio says, “I would say it’s hugely demanding to complete at the collegiate level with practices and training. Finding times for all coaches and players to meet is nearly impossible and when we do we try and make the most of it. Being student-athletes requires the same demands as being just a student so there is more pressure on athletes to produce in the classroom.”
Hours are spent on and off the field, and the time not accounted for there is spent in classes or at the library. So how does this all affect athletes personal lives? Mia Brickley, a senior who plays field hockey for Keene State College, describes the hours she spends practicing and training, during both the on and off season. “My team probably practices between six and eight hours a week. It depends on how many games per week we have though. During the season, I rarely train outside of practice and games. In the off season, we have mandatory training sessions and practices that probably take up about four to five hours a week,” Brickley explained. Brickley also touched on the academic and social standards that athletes are held to, “In order to stay on the team, everyone has to maintain a 2.0 GPA and be in good academic standing. There are also certain rules everyone has to follow regarding drug and alcohol intake.”
So with all the practices, studying, and stress of being in college, are there positive effects to being on a team when it comes to having a personal life?
“The positive ways that field hockey has affected relationships in my life is that I have made some lifelong friends who I can always rely on. I also get to see my family a lot when they come to my games to support me and the team,” Brickley said when asked how this has taken an effect on her relationships with her friends and family. Tarascio also sees the bright side, “Being on a college team has affected my relationships in an extremely positive way. I have meet some of my closest friends here on the baseball team but I have also made close friendships with other sports team. My family plays a huge part in it as well. They have supported, encouraged, and even criticized in a positive way all to make me a better person and player and I can’t thank them enough for that.” However, Brickley says that seeing her friends that are not on the team poses more of a challenge, “I don’t get to see them or hang out with them as much when I’m in season.” So how do they do it all? Tarascio gives his advice on managing it all, “There are ways I manage my time. I like to do one thing at a time complete it to my best ability then move on to my next task. This helps me with stress because I’m focused on one thing and not 20 different things.” Time management can release a lot of pressure and every athlete is different on how they manage it all, but for Brickley, “I manage my time by making a schedule for the month with game times and due dates for assignments. I also stay away from procrastinating and try to get ahead as much as possible,” she says. Unfortunately, Vance Bates did not comment. Being a college athlete can be stressful, but it seems the rewards far outweigh the negatives.
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