Often, the sacrifices of student athletes go unnoticed. For almost every perk that comes with representing a school athletics program, you have to give up something. Although most of these sacrifices are unwritten, the majority of us are aware long before we agree to our scholarship.
The few that don’t know usually learn fast or don’t survive their time as an athlete for long.
For example, from the moment you sign the paper to become a student athlete everything you do represents the school, meaning you must abide by the code of conduct. Any type of trouble or insubordinate activity could place your scholarship in jeopardy. You have to keep a clean slate because, although mistakes by an individual can be forgiven, they remain a representation of the school forever.
Another sacrifice that comes with being a student athlete is a lack of studying time. The reason for this is the many factors that come with your obligations as an athlete. For example, practices, games and film study all take away from time you could have used to improve academically.
The lack of study hours is unfortunate but the upside to being a student-athlete is free tutoring. In my case, I really take advantage of this opportunity because it applies to my trade-off for the hours that I lose due to basketball obligations.
Furthermore, a benefit that goes unnoticed is the golden opportunity to stay in shape and even improve our physical conditions. Most athletes don’t consider this idea because we are in great shape already from playing sports all our lives, but it’s actually really beneficial. Unlike normal students, we have 24-hour access to training equipment for free. As an athlete, you are required to use it.
Many student athletes would love to have more of an opportunity for social time. Many days we have to trade hanging with friends or going to parties to prepare to compete. In my case, I attended a school in Texas as a freshman, and I could only dream of being able to go home to Georgia and visit family and friends.
Lack of relationships outside of your team forces you to make closer friends out of your teammates and coaching staff. This opportunity proves to be good in the end because those relationships can last a lifetime.Teammates and coaches understand you differently because everything you do, successful or unsuccessful, is done together. You begin to rely on each other as your life depends on it.
One of the most beautiful aspects of being a student athlete is traveling. Road trips are awesome. Whether you fly or have a ten-hour bus ride, it’s an opportunity to see places you have never seen before.
Without sports, some athletes would never leave the state. I have been exposed to multiple different states and I have even had the opportunity to leave the country because of sports.
Lastly, sacrificing your body to a sport can be very draining both physically and emotionally. The repetitive and strenuous schedule of being a student athlete can almost drive you insane. The only thing that keeps us going is the pursuit of our goals and the reward for being the best we can.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, many athletes lost their opportunity to play for a reward and some lost their entire season.
I can only imagine how it feels to not have an opportunity to advance into the most critical part of their season. The NCCA was able to grant eligibility back to some sports that had not started yet. Hopefully things change soon and next season will be an opportunity for everyone to recover from this tragic epidemic.