The toll of being a student athlete in college

By: Abigail Frye
Twitter: @Abigail_EF

Being a student and an athlete is never easy, as students and faculty at the University of Findlay both agree. With school and sports combining to make for a busy schedule, student athletes sometimes find it difficult to find the time for it all.

“The main struggle of being a student athlete is being able to balance out everything between games, practices, and school work and having enough time for it all,” said Ashton Kester, a sophomore Pre-vet major and UF softball player.

Kester says during the off season the softball team only practices two hours a week. During the spring season though, the players dedicate about three to four hours a day to their sport, including 5 a.m. practices.

“Sometimes I do feel like my sport comes before school, but not much,” Kester added.

Lelo Hess, a sophomore Pre-vet major and previous UF soccer player, also describes it hard to find time to do homework, especially while traveling. Hess explains the soccer team practices for about two and a half hours a day. Practices ranging from 5-8 a.m. were also normal.

Hess doesn’t feel as overwhelmed by the juggling act, as she’s always had to balance school and athletics. “Sometimes I did, but I was used to balancing my time, it really depended on the week,” said Hess.

Markell McCoy, a junior marketing major, says his football schedule is similar. He explains that classes take place between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. with lifting before or during followed by meetings and practice until about 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Sarah Fedirka, an associate professor of English at the University, has seen student-athletes getoverwhelmed.

“Yes, without a doubt under the pressure of athletics,” said Fedirka.

Federika does want to see the athletes be successful both in their sport and in the classroom. “They need to be held to the same standards, but faculty should be flexible,” Fedirka said.

Fedirka also added that to help the students, faculty and coaches alike should give them clear expectations and affective advising with a good class schedule to work around their busy lives.

Students can also help themselves by talking to faculty in person and having good communication skills about when they will miss classes for a sport will help both the professor and the athlete according to Fedirka. Office hours are also a good way to reach busy professors and be proactive

“Try to stay on top of your work,” offered Fedirka.

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