As I am sitting here in my office, with one of my players at the other desk completing her study hall hours, I began to think about the day-to-day life of a student athlete. The time commitment is something we try to prepare our players for, but they will inevitably be overwhelmed at some point along the way.
Now, every Division is different. Division III has more restrictions than DI and DII programs as far as preseason and postseason workouts are concerned; so if you are going to one of these bigger programs you can expect your day to be twice as hectic as the day I am about to describe for our DIII player.
From the time our student-athletes arrive on campus up until October 15th, they are pretty much on their own with any basketball activities. We are not allowed to be present for any workouts that go on prior to October 15th. However, this does NOT mean our players sit around, go out, act crazy, be lazy, etc. until then. Our captains are in charge of running all preseason and postseason workouts. We will make up lifting groups according to the student athletes' schedules and have them get in the weight room at least twice a week in these groups. This past season there were morning post workouts, strength and conditioning workouts and basketball workouts that were all ran by the captain of the team. During the season things can get pretty crazy with the travel schedule and late night practices combined with school work, study hall and community service activities. The postseason is the most laidback of the three. Postseason technically starts the day after the Women's Final Four. We, as coaches, are once again restricted from being present for any of the workouts. Upperclassmen are in charge of making up a schedule to play pickup and lift. So, want to see what your future will be like? Here's your sneak peek:
PRESEASON weekday schedule:
Monday: Class, Lifting, Class, Pickup/Conditioning, Study Hall,
Tuesday: 7AM workout, Classes, Pickup/Conditioning,
Wednesday: Class, Lifting, Class, Pickup/Conditioning, Study Hall
Thursday: 7AM workout, Classes, Pickup/Conditioning
IN SEASON schedule looked like:
Monday: Classes, Study Hall, Film, 8-10PM Practice
Tuesday:Classes, Pregame Meal, Game
Wednesday: Classes, Practice, Lifting, Study Hall
Thursday: Classes, Film, Practice, Light Lift
Friday: Classes, Leave for away games - Game at 7
Saturday: Shootaround, Game, Travel
- Keep in mind that our average travel time to games was between 2 to 4 hours (each way) on a bus. If you go to a DII/DI it is likely that you will be flying to games which will require even more travel time.
- You will also be missing classes on travel days so you is is CRUCIAL that you stay on top of your work!
POSTSEASON schedule looked like:
Monday: Classes, Pickup, Lifting
Tuesday: Classes, Study Hall
Wednesday: Classes, Pickup, Lifting, Study Hall
Thursday: Classes, Pickup, Lifting
Friday: Classes, Off
WHEW! I was exhausted just typing all of that. Hopefully now you can see the huge time commitment that is required when you choose to be a student-athlete at the collegiate level. But let me stress oneeeee thing: Your education is just as important as winning games. Student-athletes sit in class with their fellow schoolmates and go through the exact same academic rigors as everyone else. However, in order to be eligible to participate in that sport, you have to maintain a certain GPA; drop below and you could be out for the semester or lose your academic scholarship which may cause you to have to leave the school you love so much due to the financial situation.
My biggest advice is: DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP! The professors are understanding of the pressures you face as a student-athlete and are usually receptive if a student is willing to come to them for help. There are also Learning Centers, Writing Centers, Academic Support Centers, etc. on campuses specificially set up to assist you with your school work. USE THEM! AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!