Student athletes have many responsibilities and dedicate a lot of time to one’s sport during the school year, although education is supposedly top priority for all student athletes at Keene State College.
Time management and organization are essential skills to obtain, especially as a student athlete.
Junior and men’s hockey team member Tyler Duquette on the Men’s Hockey team said the team follows a set schedule every week and that “makes it easier to accomplish school work and makes me more organized.”
As far as a weekly schedule goes, Duquette said the players spend at least five hours on the ice for practices and games combined but “this does not include the other activities, we also help the community at the Learn to Play hockey program, teaching kids how to play hockey.”
As students continue in their studies at KSC become an upperclassmen, courses and classwork generally become more difficult.
Adding athletic responsibilities to the mix, as well as academic responsibilities, finding a balance may be difficult for some but not all.
“I don’t really have much trouble balancing my schoolwork with hockey. If anything, I think playing hockey helps me balance my time better and that correlates to achieving better grades for me,” Duquette said.
Like for all successful things, finding a groove takes time, practice and focus. Duquette said his study habits now are “much better compared to freshman year, because I utilize the library more often and ask my professors whenever I need help.”
For both student athletes and other students, being a part of a group and practicing teamwork can be important life skills to have in and out of college.
Duquette said he does not regret anything and is happy he played hockey for KSC. “I believe that being a part of the hockey team here at Keene State has only enhanced my experiences here and I would never change that. My favorite part about being a student athlete is just always being with my teammates and having a great time together.”
Likewise, student athletes who are not currently in-season have similar thoughts on balancing school and sports, such as senior Michael Sancomb. Sancomb said he has been a “walk-on the last two years,” his junior and senior year, for the men’s soccer team at Keene State.
Sancomb also said the soccer team had a very busy season with either “a practice, a game or a team lift alternating each day, Monday through Saturday, with Sundays off.”
At times there are some weeks that can feel a little overwhelming, but our coach would always emphasize to us that school is more important[…] Sancomb added, “You know when your practices and classes are, so you might have to sacrifice hanging out with friends and enjoying the college social life so you can stay on top of your classes,” Sancomb said.
Busy schedules for both school and sports combined can impact grades for better or for worse. Personally for Sancomb, he said, “I get better grades during season than out of season.” He also said utilizing the library and studying was a large part of his good performance in classes. “Being a student athlete 110 percent improves my performance in school because of the library hours we have to meet at each week.”
Although, advantages and disadvantages can come from being a student athlete.
Sancomb said his favorite part of being on the soccer team is “making friends from being part of a team, going through it all together, and getting lifelong experiences from it.” As for his least favorite part, “We have this thing called the ‘48 Hour’ rule, which means we can’t enjoy the social life of going out, for example, two nights before a Saturday game but that’s a sacrifice you have to give up to be a student athlete by staying in on a Thursday and Friday night,” Sancomb said.
Junior Ryan Pelligrinelli is the new vice president/president of the rugby team while the team’s acting president, Casey Brackett, is studying abroad.
This is Pelligrinelli’s third year on the rugby team and he said during the main fall season, “Practice takes up to 10 hours a week, weekend games take up to at least six hours, including traveling and playing. Spring practices only take up four hours a week. Lifting isn’t mandatory for rugby, but I go to the gym for myself, which is about another eight hours a week,” Pelligrinelli said.
As for the impact on his grades, Pelligrinelli said balancing school and sports can “of course be difficult at times.”
Specifically, “being a film major, doing projects for class requires a lot of physical and mental time. Having rugby in the middle of the day inhibits the quality of work I’m able to produce for class. Having practice also inhibits the amount of time I can implement into my projects, while trying to maintain sports and somewhat of a social life,” Pelligrinelli said.
Regardless, he said, “Being on the rugby team has introduced me to a lot of people both on and off the team. My least favorite thing about being an athlete is that I don’t have enough time to pursue other interests. At the same time being a part of something bigger than you is always rewarding, it provides purpose and being.”
Julia Eichman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org