Being a student athlete is a title that comes to those at Central Michigan University who work hard in the athletic field and excel in the classroom. Their day is spent in multiple places besides just the classroom as they endure weight lifting as well as a practice that can be up to five hours.
Sophomore baseball pitcher, Michael Brettell, is no stranger to the grind of being a student-athlete. “Being a student-athlete is challenging because you have to juggle practice schedules and traveling for games with classes,” Brettell said. “Most of us have scholarship responsibilities, so we can’t afford to fall behind in our school work.”
Brettell is majoring in computer science and spends many hours studying following a day of weight lifting at six in the morning, a full school load as well as a four hour baseball practice and pitching bullpen. He holds one of the highest GPA’s on the baseball team with a 3.6.
Goal setting is a discipline that had taught junior volleyball player, Courtney Hiltibran, how to manage a good mental mind on and off the volleyball court, especially with their travel schedule.
“I sit in the front row so that my teachers know I’m attending class. I tell them on day one that I may have to miss class for a volleyball tournament, but I will do what it takes to make up missed work,” Hiltibran said. “I want them to know the reason why I’m absent if I miss class and that I will make up the work right away.”
Study room hours take up a decent amount of time for these student athletes. Until their grade point average is up to their programs standards they are given a certain amount of hours to go into the study room at the Indoor Athletic Complex on campus. The student- athletes are then supervised while they study to make sure they are completing their work.
Freshman baseball pitcher, Cameron Miller, is adjusting to the student athlete life of study tables and long practice days.
“Since I’m a freshman, I’m expected to complete twenty hours of study tables per week,” Miller said. “I make sure to budget my time to go there in between class and practice or after class too.”
The day of a student athlete can start as early as five in the morning. In the offseason of most sports, the strength and conditioning coach, Aaron McLatcher, has them arrive for lift at 5:50 a.m.
“There are some weeks where I’m training the athletes in the weight room more than they train for their particular sports,” McLatcher said. “I always remember to tell them how proud I am of them because I truly get to see their hard work pay off first hand.”
The grind of a student athlete truly never ends, but the work they put in through all hours of the day is something admirable. When you combine talent and hard work, the results are amazing. Student athletes at Central Michigan University are the ideal example of what happens when you combine talented students with an excelling program.