The real student-athlete grind
Looking at things from the outside it’s easy to say “Athletes have it easy “and those are words we hear commonly used outside around campuses. The life of student athletes from the outside looks like one that is all fun and real simple. You go to practice and play games? Doesn’t that sound fun? But a lot of things go on behind the “scenes” that people don’t see. As a current athlete myself I could tell you that the life of an athlete is real tough. It is what we call a “grind”. But I went beyond just me and had a chance to sit down with a couple athletes to see how they deal with being student/athletes and what goes on behind the scenes or things that people don’t see in their sports. I had the opportunity to meet Emily Heissler a former multi-sport athlete (softball and track) at Hutchinson Community College and current Track and Field athlete here at UCM. Also met another track athlete (Madison Whisler) to sit down and talk about the challenges of being student athletes. Both track athletes started playing sports around the age of 5 and have continued through their whole high school and college career. Both finding ways to maintain pretty good GPA’s told me that it is really important to find time and make the best use of your time. When asked about their routines they talked about how hard it is to keep up with everything while being a student athlete. Both mentioned that they go through lifting workouts in the morning, then have to go to class, and after go to practice.
“That’s when the real grind and fatigue is” Whisler said. “We have to find a way to get energy to get through the day and do your homework, study and rest so you can go through the same routine everyday” Heissler said. When asked about what advice they would give to freshmen they both seemed to agree that it is not as easy as it looks like, Whisler said “I would recommend that is real important to manage your time wisely and find ways to get through days in rough times”. Heissler stated that freshmen year is a hard one because “it is like a whole new world”, she mentioned some of the difficulties and challenges you face a freshmen student/athlete such as the way you manage time between practices, games, meetings etc. But both agreed and were really happy to admit that teachers here on campus are extremely open to work with athlete schedules and “are really considerate”.
Being an athlete is not as easy as it looks we go through a lot of stuff that people don’t see, like the girls mentioned, getting up early, going through a whole day while being tired and finding ways to study and catch up in class is not the easiest thing to do. Luckily here in the University of Central Missouri student/athletes receive teachers and all faculty members’ support so the teachers are willing to deal with athletes’ schedules and offer tutors to help them.