Mental Toughness

Student-athletes are put through the most excruciating physical and mental test throughout their career.  A common week for a student-athlete consists of 30-40 hours dedicated to their sport and 15-30 hours dedicated to their school work.  Having this type of schedule day in and day out can only make the ones who survive mentally tough.

My typical Monday schedule during the off-season looked like this:

6:30am-7am: Individual practice

7am-9:30am: Team practice

10am-11am: Weights

11am-12pm: Physical therapy

1pm-2:15pm: Class

3:00pm-4:15pm: Class

5pm-7pm: Study Hall

7pm-??? Homework

After a day like this all I wanted to do was collapse in my bed, but I knew my day wasn’t over.  Lack of sleep and emotional stress are just the beginning of the struggles.  I still had to finish any homework, make dinner, and get ready for practice the next morning.  Now imagine how your body feels with days just like this throughout an entire semester.

During the course of one’s career, athletes are taught to deal with every situation that is thrown at them and keep moving.  Student-athletes are put through the ringer day in and day out.   It takes mental toughness to be a student-athlete, and some don’t recognize the obstacles they deal with on a daily basis.  After having completed my four years of living the student-athlete life, I am now beginning to see how the mental toughness I gained through this type of schedule is transferring over into the workplace.

“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory”Bill Russell

What makes you mentally tough?

Comment below!

What It Takes To Get To The Top

“You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that” –Michael Jordan

The reason why athletes transfer well from a four-year college career to the workplace is because of the competitive trait they gain from participating in athletics.  To make it to the collegiate level, one has to perform at the highest level in order to keep their scholarship or even remain on the team.  Due to these high standards, student-athletes are always trying to better themselves and beat the competition.  Athletes have passion to make it to the next level and win, and that is why businesses want athletes.  Athletes know what it takes to get to the top.

The amount of hours athletes put into training every day to achieve goals directly correlates to the mentality they bring to the workplace.  Knowing what it takes to dedicate yourself is what sets athletes apart from others and that’s exactly what employers seek.  These types of skills are not ones that are taught in classrooms, they are only learned through participating in sports.  Student-athletes have a burning desire to achieve success and that is why hiring managers need to look for candidates with athletics experience.

For employers I challenge you to be able to seek out candidates with athletic backgrounds that possess the competitive trait and integrate that into your company.

For all athletes I encourage you to use the skills you learned through competition and integrate those into your work.  Use competition to drive personal goals and challenge coworkers to be competitive and drive the company’s success.

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

Time Management Tips For Student-Athletes

Not enough time in the day? I remember how overwhelming it is as an incoming college freshman trying to balance everything.  But think about how much we have to fit into one day compared to high school, it is a huge transition.  As a student-athlete juggling practice, weight lifting, class, homework, and still trying to make time for family and friends can be extremely difficult.  Time management is a skill student-athletes have to master to be successful and I’ve got a few tips for you athletes to help make those days seem less stressful.

Get a daily planner started! Staying organized is the best way to help you manage your time effectively.  Keep track and write down all of your upcoming class assignments so nothing catches you by surprise.  To help you get things done each day make daily “to do” list for all meetings, practices, weights, etc.   If you’re like me, writing things down and being able to cross them off give me a sense of accomplishment.  Get used to writing in your planner daily and stick to it!

Make use of travel time! When in-season, keeping on top of all the assignments and class you miss while you’re traveling gets to be challenging.  Take your books and study while you’re traveling on planes, buses, and any extra time you have sitting in your hotel room.  This will ease the amounts of homework and catching up you have to do when you get back home.

Make use of Sundays! Who likes doing homework on weekends? Not I, but I’ve forced myself into the habit of making my Sundays productive.  This means organizing my week ahead and planner and working on homework due that week.  Print out any lecture notes for the week, and get a head start on those assignments due in a couple days.  Discipline yourself and get things done, you’ll be amazed with how much smoother your week will go.

Make YOU time!  As time goes by, you’ll begin to adapt to this fast paced lifestyle but it is important to every once in a while create some “you” time.  With the amount of stress student-athletes are put under it can be overpowering.  Once in a while take the time to go get a massage, or relax and watch a movie, or go out to eat with friends a laugh this will definitely help ease the stress.

No one said it was ever going to be easy, or everyone would do it right? As a student-athlete you have more commitments and responsibilities compared to the “average” student.  Be proud of the opportunity you have been blessed with and make the most of every day.

Share your thoughts and/or any tips that have been successful for you when managing your time.

Effective Communication From The Court To The Office

I strongly believe that participating in collegiate athletics gives individuals a particular advantage.  As a Division 1 athlete you sacrifice and dedicate a substantial about of effort, energy, and time into your particular sport.  On top of that you have to balance a full school schedule.  In my opinion, one of the most valuable skills athletes learn from playing at the collegiate level is effective communication.

As a student-athlete you quickly learn how be able to communicate with your coaches, trainers, professors, and teammates.  From personal experience student-athletes have to be in constant communication with coaches to make sure the team and coaching staff are on the same page and working towards the same goal.  Think about during practice and all the verbal and nonverbal communication between players and the coaching staff.  In addition,  any physical checkups and injuries have to be communicated with the trainers and strength and conditioning staff.  Between class and travel schedule there is constant conflict during in-season competition, and as athletes it’s our job to communicate that with our professors and coordinate make ups for assignments and exams.  This becomes a difficult task as during in-season travel athletes miss class almost every week.  In addition, effective communication with teammates is crucial for the success of the teams.  Issues come up within teams, and only through effective communication can things be fixed to allow teams to grow.  Effective communication not only adds tremendous value to teams on the court, but in offices as well.

Many businesses today are using teams and/ or groups to effectively and efficiently get things done and communication is incredibly essential in these environments.  Whether it be discussing with your boss about what needs to get done or working with co-workers to obtain a goal or solve a problem…yup you guessed it, communication is key.

Communication is one of the key transferable skills athletes bring into the workforce.  Having learned and developed these skills though the college athlete experience put student-athlete graduates ahead of a majority of young adults that age.

I would love to hear your thoughts on communication! Share what you think below!

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Student-Athletes Transitioning From College Into The Workforce

The life of a student-athlete…  From practice, weights, traveling, coaches, teammates, and game days, the life of a student-athlete is demanding and I’ve recently lived through it.  In November I finished my senior year of volleyball at the University of Nevada, Reno and will graduate in May with my B.S. in Business Management.  There are numerous young individuals just like me that have experienced or are going through the transition from being an athlete into the business world and my blog will touch on the various aspects of this lifestyle.  My blog will help student-athletes become aware of the qualities they acquired through participating in collegiate athletics.  In addition, my blog will help employers become knowledgeable of the benefits of employing former student-athletes.

Therestudent-athlete are thousands of high school athletes and even fewer collegiate athletes with only about 1% of those athletes going on to play professional sports after college.  Now let’s think of all the athletes that have been idolized and helped though many of life’s challenges up until their college graduation, and then thrown into the workforce which is completely different than the average collegiate athletic lifestyle.

As I am currently going through the transition from an athlete into the business world, I want to discuss many topics revolving around athletes transitioning into the business world.  I plan on blogging about several matters about the typical day in the life of a Division 1 athlete.  From job searching challenges for athletes after their careers, about all the great qualities and traits athletes bring to the workforce, and why employers need to look to hire athletes into their businesses.