When the general public usually sees college athletes it’s on game days. They see the uniforms, crowds, cheerleaders, and halftime shows. What most don’t see is the daily grind of every other day, and what it takes to even make it to those game days. There is so much more behind the scenes that few see.
What they don’t see is the constant struggle without the spot light and cameras. The 6am practices. The conditioning in the snow. The burn in the weight room. The coach in your face and pulling your practice jersey. The blood, tears, and injuries you fight through. The battle every other day.
No one sees the summer workouts that are “highly recommended”. This just means if you aren’t on campus working out in the summer, don’t expect to play in the season.
In college we practice year round with very few days off from practice and weights. In the “off season”, or spring for volleyball, my team lifted weights three to four times a week, conditioned three times a week, and practiced five days a week. You can imagine at times how this becomes so draining; especially with a full class schedule you might even want to give up. But you cant. You’re preparing yourself for season, and to prove yourself for game days.
In addition to this schedule, I was an athlete that had a part-time job on top of my school and athletics. I was working 20 hours a week and fitting my homework into the only time I had available, late nights. There are also many times in the spring season that coaches’ make you do volunteer and community work on weekends as well. They may call it “volunteer”, but truth is, if you don’t do it, you’ll get punished.
Participating in collegiate athletics is a full-time job in my mind. The expectations are high and the demand is incomparable. There is so much more behind the scenes that is required of collegiate athletes that most will never see.
Check out this article discussing the many Myths of College Athletes
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