Student athletes are very busy people and time management is crucial when it comes to balancing school, athletics, extracurricular activities and friends.
Athletes have to remember that they are a student first and an athlete second. Their performance in the classroom is just as important, if not more so, than what they do on the playing field.
Daniel Mathis, junior biochemistry major and baseball player, said that he and his team practice 20 hours per week and during the off season participate in two morning practices per week.
While they are in season, the baseball team has three games per week. One usually on a week day and two during the weekend for the weekend series. Every other day is used for intense practices except for one off day, which is enforced by NCAA rules.
Mathis is also involved with several on campus extracurricular groups.
“I’m a Lambda Chi Alpha, so that is a big commitment, I’m president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the Student Members of the American Chemical Society and I lead Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings on campus,” Mathis said. “I’m a busy body. I’m the kind of person that if I’m not doing something that I feel like I’m wasting time.”
Eliza Clark, senior athletic training major and soccer player, said that a typical day usually starts with early classes followed by clinical hours or homework. After class and clinical hours, she’s off to soccer practice or games. Each day the cycle repeats, but Clark says she loves playing and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“It is difficult to find time to just hang out some weeks, like when we are gone for away games, but I enjoy playing soccer and the girls are awesome!” Clark said.
Clark is an active member of Union’s Athletic Training Student Organization and Zeta Tau Alpha.
Mathis said he keeps his calendar organized by keeping a planner and checking it before he makes any commitments. He said he also tries to remember that he is a student above anything.
“I plan my activities hour by hour. It is important to know your priorities too. School comes before sports and sports comes before extracurricular activities,” Mathis said.
Mathis said he feels very blessed to be at Union and be able to play the sport he loves.
“I’m very grateful to be at Union. To be able to have the chance to study and learn about what you want to do for the rest of your life and play the sport you are most passionate about is a blessing,” Mathis added.
As a student athlete, there are more commitments and responsibilities compared to the “average” student. It is important for students athletes to take pride in the opportunities they have been given and make the most of each day. The time management skills learned during one’s time as a student athlete will prove extremely useful and valuable in their future professional career.