Who Am I?
When people ask me “what are you passionate about?” or “what are your hobbies?” without any hesitation, my answer is always: Sports. In an ideal world, I would be shooting hoops with Lebron James and the rest of the Cavaliers but like most of us, the dream of becoming a professional athlete has to eventually come to an end. I was fortunate enough to play five years of varsity basketball and two years of varsity football for the Guelph Gryphons. In May, I will be graduating with a degree in Management Economics and Finance with a concentration in Accounting. This will be my second year with DECA U Guelph, and I am pleased to see how it’s developed my business acumen and numerous soft skills such as problem solving and the ability to present. So next year when (sadly) Ball is no longer Life, these qualities will help me in my career as an Accountant.
What’s it like being an Athlete?
Being a student-athlete is not an easy undertaking. People comment on all the perks and the gear, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes. To be a successful athlete, you have to commit to the sport every single day. Practice, workouts or any other type of training, you have to be consistent. The average collegiate athlete spends 40 hours a week in some form of practice or commitment…that’s like a full-time job! There are times when you’re up all night cramming for a midterm, but you have to make your mandatory workout at 7:00AM. Or you have an assignment due, but you’re on a road trip so you have to finish it on the coach bus. Not to mention the added stresses of a tough loss, practice or an injury.
From the Court to the Office
As my girl Kelly Clarkson would say, "what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger". Although there are many difficulties that come with being a student-athlete, this type of adversity helps you become a well-rounded individual. You can train an employee on the day-to-day job requirements, but you can’t change dedication and work ethic. Employers look to hire athletes because they embody traits that are extremely valuable on the job. Athletes in the workplace are known to be great leaders, team players and communicators (6 of the past 11 US presidents were collegiate athletes!). Not to mention other characteristics that employers look in an applicant such as someone who is goal-oriented, an effective time-manager and has the ability to perform under pressure. So if you are looking to join a sport or team, but you are hesitant because you feel it would be a distraction from your studies…my piece of advice would be to join! The traits and experiences you gain from being an athlete will help you become more successful in the classroom and workplace.