Posted On: 10/8/18 11:17 PM

Playing college sports is ridiculously time-consuming and takes an intense level of commitment.  Morning workouts, lifting, practices, team dinners, team meetings, and traveling to games make maintaining your academic load, getting adequate sleep, and having a social life very challenging. The time demand required is reason enough to deter many from continuing to play, leaving only the dedicated few. This reality poses the question, why do student-athletes play collegiately?

There are several reasons to play collegiately which benefit the student-athlete both mentally and physically and prepare them for their future career endeavors.

For starters, if you choose to take your game to the collegiate level, you may be awarded an athletic scholarship which can reduce, or even eliminate the cost of your secondary education. Individuals with college degrees have more opportunities in the work force and consistently make higher salaries than individuals without a degree. In addition to scholarship aid, student-athletes regularly receive access to the best academic and support services college campuses have to offer. These supportive services have proven successful as college athletes’ have higher graduation rates than the average college student.

As a college student-athlete, you will be pushed to the limits while you attempt to balance academics and athletics while trying to juggle a social life, healthy diet, and adequate sleep. You will eventually realize how these tough times that you persevered through were the best preparation for life by ultimately making you more resilient and mentally tough. Time management and resiliency are both stand-out qualities for future professionals to have. Businesses look at collegiate student-athletes as dedicated, hard-working, and organized individuals who possess the ability to work well with others as a team and serve as leaders. 

Another reason to play collegiately is for the experience of a lifetime. While competing in collegiate athletics, you will have access to play at top-notch facilities, receive expert training, and travel to places (preseason trips, regular season away games, and foreign tours) you would not have had the opportunity to without athletics. Not only this, but you get to do it alongside your teammates (AKA best friends) and be a part of something greater than yourself. The feeling of belonging is rewarding, and with college athletics your team becomes your family.

The most prevalent reason that student-athletes continue their athletic career is simply because it is fun. Playing collegiately gives individuals who enjoy the game the opportunity to continue to play competitively at an even higher level for four more years. Collegiate play can also open the door to extending your play even further with a professional career. As an athlete, your life and motives are focused on becoming the best you can be in your sport for self-satisfaction and because you purely enjoy it.

What I have personally gained through college athletics is priceless and I am ultimately the person I am today because of the lessons I have learned in my many years involved in the sport. Playing collegiately has lead me to amazing opportunities and paths I would have never dreamed of having. My athletic career has been far from perfect, but I wouldn’t change anything about it. The countless struggles and triumphs have tested me and enhanced my resiliency, strength, discipline, and work ethic.

Playing collegiately is physically tough and mentally demanding as the competition is tougher and there is always someone gunning for your position. There will be days you hate it and want to quit, however, the victories you experience with your teammates make it worth the pain. If you are considering taking your game to the next level, I urge you to take the chance because it will change your life for the better.