Putting the ‘student’ in student-athlete

Dylan Frazier




With finals looming large for students at UF, there are still many tests left for athletes, balancing school life and athlete life. On top of coming to classes and doing their homework, student-athletes have to be sure they excel on and off the field. 

Junior volleyball player, Alana Sundermann says to succeed on and off the court, you have to learn time management skills. 

“Being an athlete, you have to manage your time very wisely,” said Sundermann. “I make sure to get most of my schoolwork done before practices and done before my weekend games so that I’m not thinking about all the stuff I have to do during my practice or games.” 

Sophomore defensive end Logan Speyer, says that at first it was hard being a student-athlete and found himself in a bit of a rut when he started college. Much like Sundermann, Speyer learned to balance his time to make it where he can be successful in all aspects of life

 “I struggled to be able to balance athletics and academics when I first got to college.” said Speyer. “Now in my third year of college, it is definitely a lot easier to balance them. I think the most important thing I have learned is to knock out as much schoolwork as you can when you have a little bit of free time so that you do not get behind.” 

Some teams are required to attend study tables each week. At these study tables, athletes get homework done as well as ask for help from people who may help them forge the path to success. Speyer believes this helps him stay on task in his classes. 

“I think study tables do help because it forces the student to be in an environment where there are very little distractions,” said Speyer. “I have personally found them beneficial because it sets a certain amount of time that I can devote to doing the schoolwork each week instead of procrastinating on it.” 

While the volleyball team does not require its athletes to go to study tables, Sundermann does not think they would help her as she would rather work alone.

 “I know for me I wouldn’t necessarily like them because that is another chunk of my day, I would have to cut out time for,” said Sundermann. “I would rather just get my studying and homework done on my own time.” 

While their respective coaches are there to help them succeed on the field and the court, both Sundermann and Speyer have coaches who make sure they know they are students first, then athletes. 

“The coaches here really put an emphasis on education. They always talk about how sports are a privilege, not a right,” said Speyer. “That right can be taken away if a student is not doing well academically, so they put a large amount of time and energy on making sure their players are in good academic standing.” 

Sundermann shares the same sentiment as Speyer, as her coaches want her to make sure her education comes first.

 “Education is very important to my coaches if we have class during practice times we are required to be in class,” said Sundermann. “If we get a bad grade on an assignment or a test our coaches immediately talk to us, to see what’s up or if we need help in the class.”

Best of luck to students and student-athletes as finals are soon on their way.


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