It’s interesting to see what regular students say about athletes. I would say that 90% of the time, they are like “Wow, you are so lucky to be an athlete.” Some thing that athletes “are spoiled” or “all the classes that athletes take are easy.” Being a student-athlete is not easy– and sometimes it is harder than being just a regular student. Athletes have to balance their academics, athletics, and their personal life all at the same time– and that takes a lot of time and energy to make it all work.
There are a lot of “perks” for being an athlete. Athletes get team issue, free travel, academic tutors, and a lot of press coverage. Athletes also have a lot of expectations put upon them from many groups, such as the media, donors, alumni, and the fans in their sports.
I would say that one of the coolest things that I got to do when I was competing in track was traveling and seeing new places. I got to see other universities and new states. From snow and -4 degree weather in Nebraska to the humidity and sunshine in Florida to the sunshine and Trojan fever in Los Angeles– it was great!
But sometimes regular students only get a certain view of what goes on in the life of a student-athlete. There is more than meets the eye– athletes have a very structured and intense schedule each day. Between classes, workouts, and studying– there isn’t much free time to relax! Here are some athletes that talk about their daily routines at their university. Wow– these guys really work hard!
Last year, my daily schedule was pretty intense as well. Not only was I competing in my last year in track and field, but I was at a new school and starting my Master’s degree. I had a lot of people ask me what it was like to be an athlete and a graduate student– and I said that you really have to have good time management skills, because both activities take a lot of your time and there is a lot of work involved as well. :) Here was a typical daily routine that I did last year when I was a student-athlete at USC:
8 a.m.: I usually wake up at this time. I used to be an early morning person, but since I have been at USC and in the graduate program– I have turned into a night owl! One good thing about grad school– night classes! :) No more 8 am classes!
8:30 – 10 am: This was the time where I would work on some of my class work. I knew that I had to do something before I headed to campus and practice, so this was the time where I would do my papers and reading for my classes.
10:30-12:30: Lifting and conditioning. I would usually do my lifting first and then my conditioning. I would say that out of all the activities that I did in track, I loved to lift! Running on the other hand– well, I could live without doing it!!
1-3 pm: I would get something to eat (usually either a sandwich or sushi– USC has some great places to eat for lunch!) and then I would head over to throw the shot.
3:30-4:30 pm: One important thing that I felt that I needed to do everyday was visit my “home-away-from-home.” Today, that is Annenberg–but last year it was the training room. I felt like I had my own table in there! :) But with the aches and pains of training–it’s something that all athletes have to do.
5:00-6:00pm: Dinner at the Galen Center. This is where all the student-athletes go and eat. Today I still go there after I am done working with the track team– they have great food and the people working there are really nice! :) It’s also a chance to review my notes and get prepared for my classes.
6:00-9:30 pm. Class!! Each class I have meets once a week, and they are all at night. One thing is for sure– Starbucks is a lifesaver!
10-11 pm: This is basically my “free time” during the day. :) This is the time where I make my phone calls, watch movies, and just relax!
So– to sum it all up– athletics is not all about fun and games– there is a lot of work and dedication that comes with it. I really had a great time being a student-athlete– it really made my college experience a happy one. :) I would also say that athletes are one of the hardest working students on campus because they not only have to perform well inside the classroom, but they have to do well in their sports as well. :)