The Inside to a Student Athletes Life

As most students would think, coming to college for a sport was such a big deal. The recognition, the praise, the feeling of being unstoppable and like you can accomplish anything you put your mind to was life changing. But, now that I am about three months into this new collegiate student-athlete life I have figured out that college sports are not about just getting there, and the glory along the way. I have realized that there is so much more to being a college athlete, it requires a ridiculously demanding amount of time and effort.

What comes to your mind when the term ‘Student-Athlete’ is used? Is it an image of a happy, healthy individual who succeeds both in their classes and in their sport? What many people fail to realize and consider is the amount of stress that comes along with this kind of commitment of being a student athlete. Student athletes are constantly being over driven and buried in stress from the classroom and their sport. Having such a busy schedule everyday can be very overwhelming and causes a large amount of stress and anxiety on these student athletes which leads to affecting their performance in the classroom and in their sports.

Did you know…

Welcome to the average day of a student athlete. It’s 7 o’clock in the morning and my alarm clock begins to squeal its usual morning tune. I slowly manage to slither out of bed and start my day with my regular morning routine, showering, brushing my teeth, throwing on some clothes, grabbing my prepared bags for the day and try and grab a piece of breakfast before I rush to class. After sitting in class for about three to four hours every morning I then prepare for practice, practice starts at two o’clock every day but the team gets to the gym an hour early. We practice from one to four-thirty, watch film until five and then lift weights for an hour and a half. After my teammates and I are done working out for the day we usually go grab dinner and by this time it is already seven at night. But wait, the day isn’t over, following these extremities of working out all day, I then study and do homework until I pass out and wake up to the same day. This is how life is, every day.

Not many people understand and realize the mental and physical stress that the normal student athlete is put through on a day-to-day basis. It isn’t easy, it isn’t easy at all. Sometimes we are forced to get an extra workout in, forced to stay up late at night to work on a paper or project that is due the next morning, forced to eat later at night and get the leftovers of every dining hall meal. These kinds of commitments can sometimes lead to depression and an overwhelming amount of anxiety within student athletes. From the NCAA website, the article Mind, Body and Sport: Depression and Anxiety Prevalence in Student-Athletes, gives an example of this. About 30 percent of the 195,000 respondents to a recent American College Health Association survey reported having felt depressed in the 12 months, and 50 percent reported having felt overwhelming anxiety during the same period. As it would with any other human, the presence of stress and depression leads to a deteriorate down fall in the athlete’s performance.

Being a student athlete, especially in college, isn’t just a walk in a park. There are many ‘behind the scenes’ issues that happens in a student athlete’s lives that many people are unaware of. Time management, pressure from coaches and professors, exams or midterms, practice, games, homework, projects, these play a role in the pressure felt from a student athlete.

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