Life of a Student Athlete

Brittany Wells, Managing Editor

Do you ever wonder what goes into being a student athlete? Ever wonder about the amount of time and effort that they put in on a daily basis to be the best they can be as a student and as an athlete?

Typically student athletes who are in season spend a minimum of 18 hours and a maximum of 20 hours a week with their athletic teams. The athletes are also full time students, which translates to anywhere between 12 to 18 hours a week that they are in class.

Let’s just say that between athletics and academics a student athlete commits to about 35 to 40 hours per week of work. Work can mean many things.  We will say work is considered to be practice time and class time combined, but nothing else. Add study time on top of the 35 to 40 hours per week. This equates to approximately 10 hours per week for classes, including homework and studying for exams. The total for the student athlete is up to about 45 to 50 hours per week for school, practice, and homework.

One important thing student athletes must bring to the table is time management. If student athletes do not have effective time management skills, they cannot be effective and cannot meet expectations. They feel responsible for meeting not only the expectations they set for themselves but also the expectations of teammates, coaches, professors, friends, family and parents.

One of the most important things learned through being a student athlete is making sure you get at least eight hours of sleep per night if you want to perform at your greatest level in both the classroom and the court. Even though it may sound easy, getting the proper amount of sleep can be very hard depending on the time you are practicing along with the amount of exams and homework you have in that week. For example, you may have to wake up at 5:30am for a practice at 6:00am, attend three classes per day as late as 6:00pm or 7:00pm, and still have homework and studying for exams. This only leaves you a couple of hours before midnight to enjoy some personal time to cool down and relax. With this regimented schedule, the student athlete only gets five and one-half hours of sleep before waking up the next day.


Q & A with Erin Dorn (Women’s Basketball, Junior, Biology Major)

Q: During the season what is a typical day like for you?

A: A typical day for me during the season usually involves me going from class to class. After lab I will usually grab something to eat before practice. After practice I do as much homework as I can before I fall asleep.

Q: Do you feel like your professors are understanding of your athletic and travel schedule? Please explain.

A: Yes, my professors are extremely understanding of the travel schedule. They go out of their way to allow me to take tests early, which sometimes involves them having it prepared earlier than they would have liked. They also set up labs early for me if I am to miss a lab and are always available and helpful if I have a question about the material that I have missed.

Q: If you could do school over again would you do both school and your sport or would you just pick one, and if so, which one and why or why not?

A: If I were to do it all over again, I would still choose to play basketball and go to school. I would choose both because it has taught me to manage my time well, brought me new friends that I will have for a lifetime, allowed me to experience more, and taught me many life lessons.