One of the worst things that can happen to an athlete is getting injured. Whether it’s something that can be healed in a few days, or a few months, it’s the worst feeling. Not just because you might be in pain, but because you’re unable to continue playing your sport for period of time. I can tell you firsthand, there is nothing more mentally and physically challenging than getting injured. Unfortunately for me, mine have been more long-term injuries. Yes, injures…plural. I’ve torn my ACL three separate times in my life. For those of you who don’t know what an ACL is, let me enlighten you. The ACL is a key ligament that helps stabilize your knee. It connects the thigh bone to your shin bone. And for some reason, female athletes tear their ACL far more often than male athletes in certain sports do. So how do you fix it? Well, that includes knee surgery followed by 6-8 months of grueling physical therapy. I mean, I did get some pretty cool knee scars out of it. But overall, it was not a fun time. However, it did teach me some valuable lessons. Like although it may seem like it, getting hurt isn’t the end of the world. I mean at first, I definitely thought it was. I was pretty miserable and angry, especially after the third time. I kept thinking, why me? There are people who play sports and never get hurt, but it just seemed like a common occurrence for me. But after you get over the self-pitying, you start to realize that you’re gonna survive. There are far worst things in the world, and far worse injuries. For instance, some athletes suffer from freak accidents while playing and end up being paralyzed. Or, like former Pittsburgh Penguins player, Pascal Dupuis, have things happen to them that are totally out of their control. Forcing them to give up their longtime love, the game. So if you’re feeling a little upset about your situation, take the time to read this article from Dupuis himself.
It’s rare that people genuinely enjoy waking up early. Yes, there are those who claim that they are a “morning person,” but that’s usually because they have to be up. I think it’s safe to say that given the choice to sleep in, one would take it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, as athletes, we don’t usually get that choice. And most of you probably know what I’m taking about. Whether you have early practices or early workouts, it’s a struggle to get out of bed. But guess what? We have to do it. Here are a few suggestions for how to make waking up a little less terrible.
1. Set your clothes out the night before. Whether it’s your workout clothes, or just comfy clothes to wear to practice, it’s so much easier to not have to wake up and think about what you’re gonna wear. You just see it and put it on.
2. Similar to #1, pack your bag the night before. Depending on what you need for your practice/workout, make sure to get it ready prior to going to bed. Or, do you have to go class right after? If yes, make sure to bring some food or extra clothes. That way you can just toss your backpack over your shoulder and walk out the door.
3. Go to bed at a reasonable time. I understand you want to stay up late watching TV, or FaceTiming your BFF at a different school, but trust me, you’ll be grateful for the extra hours of sleep. If you go to bed at 1 a.m., and have to be up at 6 a.m., that’s just setting a rough tone for the day. Not only will you be miserable waking up, but most likely you’ll have a tough time staying a wake through the day and during your classes.
4. Eat something. Anything. Before you head out. Like they say, the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Basically, it gets everything going in your body. So instead of skipping food, get something in your stomach. Personally, I’m not a big breakfast person. So I usually stick to a granola bar, piece of fruit, or even yogurt. Find a few small things that you can grab and go, and you’ll feel a little more energized.
Like I’ve said before, as student athletes, we barely have any free time. We’re constantly on-the-go between classes, workouts, practices, etc. Chances are, if we do find ourselves with spare time, it’s probably used to eat or squeeze a quick nap in. It can be tough trying to balance everything, so that’s why I’ve compromised a few suggestions that have helped me, and hopefully can help you. Because after all, deadlines still need to be met and workouts still need to get done.
The first tip is an easy one. When you finalize the classes you will be taking for the semester (or however your school works), make a quick schedule for it. You don’t have to worry about trying to draw one out yourself. There are plenty of options online that you can just type the information in and they’ll map it out, like http://freecollegeschedulemaker.com. Then, hang the schedule up on your wall. That way you can visibly see when you have class and when you have free time.
The second tip I recommend is making a to do list. Say you have an extremely hectic week coming up, or maybe you just have a lot of assignments due within the near future, a to do list helps you organize them. Depending on how nice the to do list is, depends on you. Personally, I like to put the class the assignment is for, what the assignment is, and when it’s due. That way, I not only see and remember that I have something coming up, but I remember what it actually is.
The third tip might be a bit of a sacrifice, but it’s worth it. When you start to figure out the times in your day where you have free time, try not to squander it. Yes, I get your tired and want to nap, and that’s totally okay. But don’t use it to nap every day. This is an opportunity to start your work that might be due in a few days, and maybe you will barely have time to do it. Maybe use this time to study for that test coming up. As much as we’d like to lay in bed and watch Netflix (Criminal Minds, anyone?), using your free time efficiently and positively will help you out in the long wrong. Just think, finishing your assignment during the hour break you have between classes means that you won’t have to stay up so late at night to finish it. I mean, we’re tired enough as it is and that sleep time is precious. Am I right?
Being on a sports team, your teammates become like family. You see them every single day. Whether you share classes, workout together, or just see them at practice, they’re there, and you’re together. At some point during the year, there’s going to be a time where someone is annoying you. Whether you can help it or not, it happens. And that’s okay. Most teams have rosters of 20+ players. That’s 20 different personalities. And sometimes those personalities clash. It’s inevitable. No matter how close your team is or how well everyone gets along, it’s gonna happen. It might only last a couple of hours, or up to a couple of days. However, if you do find yourself having a problem with someone, it’s important to remember these things.
1. Try your very, very best not to talk trash or gossip about this person/persons behind their back. You wouldn’t like it if they were doing it to you, right? Plus, it only creates more drama.
2. Always respect the other person. It’s simple, everyone deserves that.
3. Don’t involve other teammates, unless the situation can potentially become a serious problem. In that case, talk to your captains. They’re there for a reason. And in most cases, they’ve experienced something similar to this.
4. Remember that at the end of the day, you guys are family. Whether you’re a guy or girl, brothers fight and so do sisters. And that’s what you are. What’s most important is that you recognize that you both want the best for the team and in the end, love each other.
So you’re looking to hire someone to fill the open position at your job. There’s three resumes from candidates that come across your desk, and while looking over them, you notice that one of them was a former athlete. Nothing against the other two, but I’m about to tell you, Mr./Ms. Boss Person, why you should choose the athlete. It’s pretty simple, high school and collegiate athletes have several great traits. Which is probably why according to Researchers have a theory to explain why high-school athletes go on to be successful in life, author Rachel Sugar explains, “For years, economists have shown that former student athletes go onto earn significantly more than their non-sports-playing peers — between 5% and 15% more, according to research cited by the Atlantic.” So let me explain a few of them.
Trait #1, we’re hardworking. We spend countless hours in the gym and during practice trying to improve and get better. Do we want to be sore, bruised, and tired? No. But we strive for greatness, which is why we persevere through the pain and continue to work over and over again.
Trait #2, we’re team oriented. Yes, there are some sports where it’s an individual effort. However, for the majority, every sport involves teamwork, respect for one another, and sacrifice. Whether it’s having to sit the bench or stand on the sidelines, we know we’re putting our team first. There’s no room for being selfish, and your coach will let you know that very quickly.
Trait #3, we know how to manage our time. Have you ever heard people complaining about waking up at 10 a.m. and having to go to 2 classes for the day? Ya, that’s funny to us. Because while you were sleeping, we were up early to run sprints, followed by grabbing a quick banana if we have enough time on our way to our back to back classes. While normal people’s days are ending, ours are just beginning. Now of course, there’s gonna be a few former athletes who don’t necessarily translate from hardworking on the court, ice, or field, into every day life, but those are rare. So next time, think about it. And think about who you want on your team.
1. “Get on the line”
2.”Do it again”
3. “Your name” *at the top of coach’s lungs*
4. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING???”
5. Closely followed by…… “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???”
6. “If you don’t pick it up, we’re doing sprints”
7. “6 a.m. workouts tomorrow morning”
8. “I’m disappointed in you guys”
9. “You’re too young to be tired or sore”
10. “It’s optional but you need to be there”
Being a student athlete, your schedule seems to never end. Here’s a quick run through for those of you who don’t know what it’s like. First, you have your dreaded 6 a.m. sprints, followed by some classes. Then you have to make your way to the gym to workout. After, it’s time to squeeze in some lunch. You want the pizza, but you choose the salad instead. Is it time for another class? Yes, it is. Of course, you’re continually battling to stay awake during the lecture. Finally, it’s over. Now, time for practice. Multiple thoughts cross your mind as you walk into the locker room: is coach gonna be happy today? Are we doing sprints? Fast forward two hours and your sore and tired, but too bad. Time to head to the library to work on some homework and meet with your group about your presentation due tomorrow. A few more hours later, you eat some dinner, take a shower, and now it’s time for the best part of your day, relaxing. But don’t get too comfy, because tomorrow you get to wake up and do it all over again.