Do not call us dumb. Do not call us stupid. Do not treat us differently, and do not disrespect us. We are not stereotypes. We are bred to win, we are raised to fight, we are taught to compete. Whether it is in the classroom, or on the field, we are going to be first. We are inspired to be the best. From my own perspective as a student athlete, I am tired of being stereotyped because of the sport I play. Not only from fans, but from professors, and my peers as well. We are not called athletes, we are called student athletes, and as a student athlete it is our job to work as hard as we can in the classroom and on the field. We want to be challenged and we want to succeed. Here are five lessons every student athlete demonstrates.
Competition is not only a part of sports, it is a part of life. There will always be a winner or a loser. There is no fine line in between and there is no winner for participating. There is no winner for just showing up. Giving half effort will get you no where in life. You need to compete as hard as you can on the field and in the classroom. Find a way to be the best. Compete with your classmates to write the best paper, or to get the best grade on the test. Compete with your teammates to be on the first line, to be the starting setter, or earn a spot on the starting defense. It is not about who you are anymore, it is about the effort you give everyday and everywhere.
2. Show Passion
In every aspect of life you need to have passion. Whether its for your sport, for your class, or for your job, there needs to be a burning passion. A passion to want to be the best. A passion to want to succeed. If you watch a celebration in the Stanley Cup Finals, you are going to see passion exemplified. If you watch a teacher and a student work together, and finally see the results pay off, you will see passion. Passion provides heart and motivation, both needed to succeed in life.
3. Handle Pressure
The final kick of the game, the last shot of the series, the final exam or the big presentation. What ever the scenario, pressure is everywhere. How you react to pressure defines you as a person. You can either crumble and back away, or you can step up and take it head on. Some despise pressure for the fear of messing up, others thrive in it. Plan your time and plan out exactly what you need to do to succeed. Know your assignments and prepare well. When your time to prepare is over, go play. Don't think, just do. Do what you were taught and go kick pressure in the face.
Every athlete learns how to be criticized. How to take criticism and turn it into a positive. We are taught how to learn and how to respect what we are being told. A student athlete cannot succeed on talent alone. They need help along the way. Whether it is meeting with your teacher about a paper or watching film with coach one on 1. Everything they say needs to be taken to heart and turned around to make yourself better.
Don't forget why we do what we do. Sports should never be played because it is a job. We play them for the love of the game. The week of preparation, the action of the game, and the feeling of success afterwards. In the classroom or on the field, there is no better feeling in the world than coming out on top.
Student-Athletes are many things, competitors, fighters, and most importantly winners. Here at Adrian College, however, above all, we are students. This campus offers us the unique opportunity to do what we love while getting an education, and I thrive with the opportunity to be a Student Athlete.
- Kyle Bell