The challenges of being a winter athlete

ErinMadden_HeadshotBY ERIN MADDEN

To all winter athletes on campus, you deserve more than the applause you get on the court.

A lot of people do not know about all of the hard work that goes into the games that we so enjoy to watch. Many people know nothing about the sacrifices that you have to make to play the game you love.

Yet, as students, we can learn a lot from you. We want to understand those challenges that you face off the court as an athlete.

Unlike fall and spring athletes, your season spans two semesters. Thanksgiving, finals, Christmas, syllabus week and a few midterms all fall within your season.

While we stuffed our faces and our stomachs full of food on Thanksgiving break, you guys were still on campus, working hard at practice.

When we left campus in early December, you stayed behind. Most of us spent an entire month with our family and friends from home. You had one week before you had to be back on campus. Over break, you spent more time on campus and in the dorms than anyone else, even the resident assistants.

As we struggle to get out of bed in the morning and walk sleepily to 6:30 a.m. Mass, some of you have already been running up and down the court for half an hour during that tiring 6 a.m. practice.

Sometimes we forget that, just like us, you are students, too. You still find time for homework and for a social life outside of your practice schedule. It is hard, but you do it.

On top of that, some of you are also resident assistants. Some of you are two-sport athletes. Some of you are in households. How do you do it all?

We can learn much from your dedication and commitment, both to being a student and to being an athlete.

We need to look at our schedules and plan what we need to accomplish ahead of time. Sometimes we might need to say no to that late-night movie in order to finish our homework on time or even to get an extra hour of sleep. The winter athletes make that decision a lot, and we can follow their examples on this and much more.

Thank you, winter athletes, for the witness you are to the title of “student-athlete.”

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