A look into the busy lives of college athletes
A month into the fall term—and for student-athletes, nearly halfway into their competitive schedules, the weight of juggling athletes and academics can start to feel a bit heavy.
For many fall sports competitors, training started weeks before classes started—and, for most, that was a honeymoon period.
“For me, fall camp helped me learn more about our team, as well as myself,” Junior defensive back Trent Dagan explained. “Apart from preparing our team physically and schematically for the long season, it is best for helping build friendships and connections amongst players and coaches” Dagan continued, “Balancing personal time and mental health is difficult when the week gets busy and tiring.”
Dagan shared, “During fall camp, our coaches and operations team mix in a variety of fun activities to take our minds off football for a little bit.” He went on to talk about traditions like an Olympic games and a lake day, when the coaches barbecue and the whole team goes to Hagg Lake. “Our coaches preach how important it is to come into each day with a growth mindset with the goal to focus on small wins everyday,” Dagan said. “Football is a fun game, so practicing and working with the guys you love is a good time.”
But during the academic year, studies and class time pile on top of practice and game demands; it can be a lot to juggle at times.
Junior basketball guard Keoni Cisco elaborated on his time here with sports, “It really does affect you a lot especially if you have a hard class schedule, right now we’re having 5 am workouts, then we have to put up 1,000 shots every week. It’s pretty busy but at the same time being on a team is so much fun.”
Throughout the season there are highs and lows. Wins, losses, injuries, championships; but perhaps most keen to sink spirits is an injury. Keoni knows first-hand. “Mentally it really messed with me because my first one was within the first couple weeks stepping on campus. If you put in the work you can do, like work the upper body when the lower is injured, I found that helped me a lot during those times.”
With a busy schedule, it is easy for athletes and students alike to put their mental health on the back burner. Although it may be a difficult conversation to have, it seems to be the story of many of the students on campus. Pacific has many resources, including the counseling center and therapy services as well. For student-athlete specific services, Tamara Tasker is a sports psychologist that is readily available to help offer support and balance in a student-athletes daily life. — Zander Breault