Edited and packaged by Matt Warshaw
The college recruiting process is stressful enough for high school athlete’s, but the stress doesn’t end once you find the school of your dreams. Being a college athlete just isn’t about your production on the field, it’s also important to thrive in the classroom.
As a senior student athlete, the advice I would give to any incoming freshman is to make sure to stay on top of your grades and get off to a good start academically. There will be plenty of distractions and it will be easy to disregard your grades, but you will just have to make sure to get all your work done and succeed in the classroom. The next advice I would give is to make sure you work hard every day in your sport and enjoy every moment!
I’ve been lucky enough to have met plenty of student athlete’s and coaches, who were able to give me more insight on their experiences of becoming college athletes and coaches.
Jessie Merten, who is the senior cheer captain, has been on the cheer team since her freshman year at SUNY New Paltz. “The best advice I have is to enjoy every second of your years at school and especially moments with your teammates. Time flies by and before you know it, you’ll be graduating. Your teammates will become some of your best friends and that connection is something that you will have forever. It takes a lot of time, work, and dedication to be a student athlete, but at the end of it all it is completely worth it.”
Brian LoRusso, Assistant Baseball Coach at Hood College, was able to offer his advice, the same he would give to his incoming players. “I would base the answer largely around conforming to the teams policies, putting extra work in the classroom so you don’t work yourself into a hole with like a 2.0 GPA and dedicate yourself to the weight room for development. Also know that a college season is a marathon compared to a high school season, so knowing when to turn it on and off. You don’t want to put a bad impression right away so you almost want to blend in early academically and do everything right. Limiting going out and the freedom college provides too.” LoRusso is on his second year as the assistant coach for Hood College.
It is very important to utilize current collegiate athletes and coaches as resources, while going through the recruiting process and early stages of college because we have simply been through it.
Reid Oreste, senior at SUNY New Paltz, is a great example of someone who works hard on the field and in the classroom. He is currently on the baseball team, while studying for the MCAT so he can get into medical school. This should show that any student nervous about pursuing one of the hardest majors, can also be a student athlete at the same time.