Life of a NCAA Division 1 Athlete
Playing a sport in college is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I played Volleyball at a Division 1 small school on the east coast. Competition wasn’t as intense like it is at a school like Penn State or Stanford, but it was still tough.
If you play a sport in college, especially at a Division 1 school, it’s safe to say that you’re playing that sport or dedicating time for your sport year round. Volleyball is a Fall sport; preseason started the beginning of August and playoffs are a week before Thanksgiving so you’re in season for a solid 4 months.
Most college students that don’t play a sport have the idea that when season is over, you’re done with sports for the year. Ah, only if that were true! After season we had about two weeks off, and you can go lift with our strength and conditioning coach but they couldn’t make it mandatory. Pretty much, it was mandatory…. when a coach says that it isn’t mandatory, it’s mandatory. Then we would all go home for Christmas break for a month, but during that month you have to do your winter workouts. Of course… it wasn’t mandatory. Then you come back and that’s when you start Spring season or your sports off season.
You would think that off season would be the easier season, but if anything it’s probably more difficult. My coach had us doing 6 ams with our strength coach 3 days a week, and 7 ams the other two days a week. On top of those morning sessions, we had night practice. Talk about tiring! Oh and then there’s that thing we have to do everyday since we are in college… go to class. On top of all of those workouts, we also needed to manage our school work. We had class all day, practice at night, and most people would love to just go to bed after being up since 5:40 am but no… nighttime was our only time we could do homework.
It was the longest five years of my life. (I had to redshirt my junior year due to an injury so I got an extra year to play for my college…. so essentially it was an extra year of off season workouts.) Longest five years, but looking back on it, it made me who I am today. Playing a Division 1 sport gave me a very strong work ethic, I can manage my time very well, and I know how to communicate well with others. I also gained a good group of friends. It’s a great way to become apart of a family at school.
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