Being a collegiate student-athlete is so much more than just sports. Baseball is just a small part of the bigger picture. There is always talk about the word “student-athlete”, and how people think they should be called “athlete-students” because athletes put their sport first. But what people need to understand is that student comes first because, if you aren’t a student, you don’t get to be an athlete. The NCAA enforces strict academic standards for athletes to remain eligible to compete in competition. These standards include GPA and progress towards graduation. If you don’t meet them, you don’t play, so we are student-athletes.
This means not only do athletes have to get themselves prepared to compete at the highest level of their sport, but also have to excel in the classroom. I have been working hard in the classroom all semester. I am a communications major, and working towards a writing minor as well. As a junior I have completed most of my general education classes, and am really starting to focus in on classes for my major and minor.
This semester I also have the added responsibility of my internship in the Concordia University Sports Information Office. Part of my responsibility for this internship is writing articles for our athletic website, www.cugoldenbears.com, working athletic events, and creating other projects for the athletic department. This Saturday I had to play many different roles. As part of fundraisers for the baseball team we setup for the football games on Saturday mornings. I joined my teammates for work before the game. Once the game started I had to switch roles to intern, where I had to head to the press box to help with keeping stats and player participation. After football I had to finish my role as intern for the football game, and head over to the Gangelhoff Center to be the intern for the volleyball match. It was a long day, I arrived at the football stadium at 9:45 a.m. and left the Gangelhoff Center around 6:00 p.m. I have been gaining valuable experience in the sports media field along the way though.
Being a successful college baseball players involves every aspect of your life. How you play and practice is just a portion. It also includes how you eat, how you sleep, how you study, how you spend your free time. Everything matters and combines to make each person the student-athlete you are.
I hope that I can continue to be successful in and out of the classroom, and on and off the baseball field. We are down to the final two weeks of our fall practices, and getting down to our last chances to make lasting impressions on the coaching staff before we find out where we stand heading into the spring. Saturday will be the coaches best chance to evaluate players as we are playing a double-header scrimmage against St. Cloud State University. Last season we played about 25 innings against SCSU in our fall scrimmage. This year we are scheduling it as two 7-inning games, and seven of our pitchers will each throw two innings, myself included in that group.
As I try to make my last impressions on the coaching staff I will also get to have the joy of having some family watching. My dad is making the trip out from our hometown in Colorado to spend the weekend visiting here in Minnesota. My sister, her husband, and their adorable two-year old daughter live in a suburb nearby in Minnesota, and hopefully all four will be in the stands as I pitch this weekend.
Trying to finish off the fall right, and working towards my goal to be a weekend starter this season.