Sacrifice

Over the years, the sports world has become an even more competitive industry.  Colleges and coaches are going to extremes to make sure they win. With that, student-athletes are expected to sacrifice a lot.   A sacrifice the average college student does not have tHOME PAGE ICONo make.

College athletes have to sacrifice a lot in order to even be on the team.

First, I want to say that being a college athlete is a special opportunity and there is a lot to gain from the experience.  I just want to share my thoughts on the sacrifices many college athletes have to make that get overlooked.

College athletes sacrifice the typical college experience.  College is supposed to be some of the best years of your life; it’s time to make new friends, socialize, party, and do things at the spur of the moment.

As an athlete, this is not what our college experience looks like.  Every moment of your day belongs to the University and coaches.  Being a student and an athlete is your job.

On top of that, all your decisions reflect your school, team, program, and reputation.  Student-athletes don’t get to go party and drink from “Thirsty Thursday” till Saturday.

Not saying college athletes don’t party and drink, they do, but athletes make that sacrifice knowing that it hurts their bodies recovery, dehydration, and reaction time.

They don’t get the luxury of hanging out with friends often.  They aren’t able to take many vacations, spur of the moment weekend trips, or have wild spring break trips.  Often athletes have practice, games, and many coaches have a no drinking policy.

One of the toughest sacrifCollege_athletes753afdc7-6ec7-496e-a056-1af1c2c7ea68ices is not being able to be home during some holidays.  Depending on the sport, many athletes don’t have the opportunity to go home and be with their family for Thanksgiving and sometimes even Christmas.

Often athletes have holiday tournaments and games or go to school across the country and aren’t able to make it home.

Student-athletes aren’t able to miss class, there is usually a coach checking in the classroom and checking up with your professor.

Student-athletes know what its like to sacrifice, and give something up to the sake of something or someone else.  This directly translates into the workplace today, as many individuals are not able to spend much time with their loved ones because of their careers.

Having gone through this experience in athletics better prepares former athletes for the sacrifices work and life will throw at them later.

Share your thoughts with me on sacrifice!

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Ability To Take Criticism

For most, being criticized is embarrassing and uncomfortable.  Everyone wants to be able to feel good about their self and when someone critiques them it can become difcapture2ficult to take.

College athlete’s gain the ability to take criticism, which is a quality particularly needed in the cutthroat business world we live in today.

Athletes constantly receive feedback from their coaches.  Feedback on how to improve their personal and team performance, to school advice, and even life advice.   A major part of a college coach’s job is to critique their player’s skills by providing feedback on how to improve their performance.  The feedback given to players is often tough and the “scream in your face” type of criticism.

As an athlete you have to gain tough skin to be able to accept the feedback and make adjustments to improve your skill set.  How you choose to react to this feedback shows how much you are willing to improve.  This is a skill crucial to learn, and the sooner the better.

As athletes, like myself, transfer from the gym to the office we will be inexperienced and new to the office setting.  If we expect to be successful and learn our new jobs, we will have to be open to feedback of all kinds.

Just as athletes receive constant feedback from coaches, employees constantly receive feedback from managers.

In all aspects of life, as we learn, we make mistakes.  As we make mistakes in the workplace we will need feedback on how to improve.  Luckily, college athletes have the experience and ability to accept criticism, good and bad, and learn from it.

Having this experience is another reason why athletes transfer well into the workplace and why employers should look to hire former athletes.

Learn How to Accept Criticism with Grace and Appreciation from a post written by Leo Babauta.

Follow me on Twitter! @J_Batista3

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Teamwork

You either like teamwork or you don’t.  You might get excited if you have been apart of successful teams before, or you may get discouraged from bad past experiences.  More and more businesses today have recognized the value in teamwork and are incorporating it into their organizations.  College athletes learn the true meaning of teamwork through their college careers, adding to the many qualities that transfer into the workplace.  teamwork

Organizations that have integrated this teamwork concept are seeing an increase in the work production.  This approach can positively affect employee morale building friendships and unity among employees.  Teamwork within organizations allows a shared workload to be distributed among employees, improves efficiency, and creates healthy competition.

Having a diverse group of individuals with different backgrounds allows personal growth by being exposed to different cultures, ideas, and ways of thinking.  This in return strengthens companies, as they will possess unique strengths and fewer weaknesses.

College athletes have the special opportunity to gain teamwork experiences and exposure through the many different athletic teams they participate on.  The ability to work in teams is one thing that sets college athletes apart from their other competitors joining the workforce.  I believe having this exposure will help the success of their future.

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From my experience with my college team, I have learned a tremendous amount over my four-year career on how to be a good team member.  I think some have the idea, that in order for groups to be successful, everyone has to get along and like each other.  I don’t believe this is the case.  I don’t think everyone has to like each other, but everyone has to figure out how to be cordial, functional, and respect each other.  I have learned that there will always be people I don’t see eye-to-eye with, but I can still work with them.

It is a challenge within groups that have a variety of different personalities, opinions, point of views, and outlooks on life, but with the exposure to these types of teams I believe it makes you a better-rounded person.

Learning to work in teams is a process; it’s a lesson for life. A lesson college athletes learn that they are able to take and utilize in the workplace.

Tell me about your experiences and what you’ve learned from being in teams on or off the court!

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Physical Toughness

Clean, squat, dead-lift, hang snatch, hang clean, snatch shrug, Frankenstein squat…

These are just a few of the Olympic lifts many college athletes do.  The physical demand on college athletes is greater than ever before.  College athletes must not only be mentally tough, but physically tough as well.

In a previous blog I disJeremiah+Calcussed the mental toughness quality that college athletes must have, but let’s not forget the physical toughness necessary to perform at this level.  At the collegiate level, every player was a “star” on his or her high school team.  When combining those players and that type of talent on college teams, teams become even more competitive.

Part of winning in college is about being more physical than your opponent.  You want to be bigger, faster, quicker, stronger, jump higher, and outlast your competition.

An important aspect to the physical toughness is the training.  College trainers are experts in their field and specific sport.  They create sport specific workouts in the weight room to best transfer to the court, field, etc.

It is important how athl248dt8etes train, but how they recover is crucial.  The right pre and post workout foods are vital to an athlete’s performance.  In addition, an adequate amount of sleep is extremely rare but important to an athletes’ body recovery.

College athlete’s bodies get put through the ringer all year round.  Your body usually never fully recovers before your next workout, and unfortunately it is something college athletes have to get used to. College athletes must not only be mentally tough, but physically tough as well.

Athletes- Share your story with me and what  has made you mentally and physically tough!

@J_Batista3 Follow me on Twitter!

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Behind the Scenes

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 trelaxing-sports-starhe 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 week2005-07-18-in-uga 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.

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Check out this article discussing the many Myths of College Athletes

Share your thoughts with me, and comment below!

@J_Batista3

 

The Importance of Being On Time

Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.” –William Shakespeare

Have you noticed the trend in tardiness among many, or is it just me? It seems like it’s become more and more common for people to be late to everywhere they go.  Being on time is so much more than just a simple action and it say a lot about a person.  In many situations, being on time means being early.  The act of being on time is a quality college athletes are forced to learn in a strict way but also helpful in the transition into the workplace.

Checking the timeIn the world of sports, I learned (the hard way) if you’re not 10 minutes early; you’re late.  To be completely honest, my freshman year I struggled a few times learning how to be onetime to AM weight lifting.  It is not something I was proud of and it was definitely a lesson learned the hard way, but I learned the importance of being on time and it is something I have transferred into all other aspects of my life.

Showing up on time shows that you are responsible and dependable.  I think this especially important in teams on the court and in the office.  Showing your teammates and colleagues you are dependable allows them to gain trust in you and proves you can be reliable and responsible.

Showing up on time shows that you are disciplined.  A person that is on time proves that they can organize their time to take care of their business.  It shows that they can organize and prepare for whatever they need to do.

Showing up on time shows your integrity.  If you make and appointment to meet someone at 10am, you have essentially made a promise to them.  Now if you show up at 10:15 you have basically broken that promise, showing that you can not be a man/woman of your word.

Showing up late to appointments, meetings, work, etc. it shows selfishness and shows that you are putting your needs above another’s.  Being on time shows that you have respect for others.  For example showing up to class on time show that you are not only ready to learn, but you show the professor respect.

Showing up late hurts our professional careers.  Many companies have a strict policy on tardiness in the workplace.  Lets be honest, showing up late to an interview is not going to get you the position in the first place.

Being able to be on time will only set you up for success.  As athletes we learn the discipline of being on time, or even early, to where we have to be.

You delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin

Share with me your thoughts on the importance of being on time and comment below!

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Frequent Travelers

Personally, I have experienced one of the toughest travel schedules in collegiate athletics.  From my freshman to junior year I played in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and my senior year I played in the Mountain West Conference.  The distance between the schools I had to travel to, from Hawaii to Louisiana, ranged between 3983.34 miles. Due to amount of travel I experienced over those years, it’s safe to say I am a frequent and experienced traveler.  Being a frequent traveler is another quality student-athletes develop through 000-dv1218526-815b7095712-original-webparticipating in athletics that translates and is helpful in many careers today.

During my in-season travel my team traveled every other week.  Each week we would play two teams, one on Thursday and one on Saturday.  The weeks we were away our schedule would look like this:

 

Wednesday: Travel, Practice, Check-in to hotel, Team dinner
Thursday: Practice, Pre-Game Meal, Game at 7pm
Friday: Travel to the next school
Saturday: Practice, Pre-Game Meal, Game at 7pm
Sunday: Travel back home

As you can see, we were constantly on the move, traveling from one school to the next.  Over my career I became very familiar with many of the west coast airports.

Archeologist, consultants, and sales are all examples of careers that demand frequent travel.  Now if you have ever flown, you understand the chaos one encounters getting though airport security, finding your way through airports, and preparing enough time.  The more one travels, the more familiar they become with what to do and what not to do .  Planning what to pack, checking or carrying on baggage, and preparing enough time to get through security are all things one becomes effective at the more they travel.

Tell me about your traveling experiences with a comment below!
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