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Time is of the essence for athletes

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

Adding a sport to an already busy schedule would seem to increase the workload for Cyclones; however, with an average student-athlete GPA of 3.28, athletes seem to be doing just fine.

“The athletes on my team feel they perform better in academics when the swimming season starts. Too much time can let you procrastinate easily,” said Neil Virtue, Mills Swim Coach and facilitator of a peer-led “how to succeed at Mills” support group for young athletes.

With a required 2.5 grade point average for all athletes, schoolwork remains the first priority for students as well as the athletic department.

Managing time seems to be the key to balancing school and sports.
Sophomore crew member Emma Giboney agrees, saying, “Crew makes me use my time more sufficiently because I don’t have time to procrastinate with my team members depending upon me everyday.”

Giboney feels a strong connection with her teammates and appreciates the inspiration and optimism that they share. Essentially, teammates find they can confide in each other and form a support group between all members.

Sophomore volleyball player Alissa Chasten agrees with Giboney, saying, “I love to be physically fit but most of all I like the bond that is created between you and your teammates. When I’m in sports, I feel a responsibility to my teammates to stay in that sport and to do the best I can while I’m playing.”

Not only do athletics create opportunities for friendships and circles of encouragement, but students also say they feel more constructive after exercising every day.

“I think crew helps because it makes me want to be more active and helps me concentrate,” said Giboney. “At times I get somewhat tired during the day because crew is so early, but I definitely do better in school when crew is in season.”

Chasten agreed, adding that participating in sports gives her more energy and ambition throughout the day.

However, this semester she also tried her hand at crew while volleyball was out of season and found time management really depends upon commitment and devotion to a sport.

“When I play volleyball it doesn’t affect my schoolwork negatively,” said Chasten. “But I also was in crew and I realized that it requires a lot more time organization. So I guess it depends on what kind of person you are and what sport fits you best.”

Students who really enjoy their sport find the great things that come along with being on a team, creating immediate friendships and ties that are just as supportive as any other available form of scholastic encouragement.

For help with time management, Jess Miller recently offered a workshop for all students, as advertised in student-news and on posters around campus. Student athletes can also arrange to join the peer-led support group by asking their coaches or contacting Neil Virtue.