Multi-sport athletes make most of time, busy schedules

As the first semester of this year begins, students begin to work on their time management. It can be even tougher for student athletes, who are forced to deal with daily practices and school work. For athletes who compete in two sports, the challenge becomes trickier and even more demanding.  Athletes have to able to balance their time between sports, academics and the little free time they have. Melissa Siegfried, a junior at Oswego State, plays on the soccer team in the fall and softball team in the spring.
“Any free time you have you’re mostly trying to split your time evenly by either doing your work or trying to hang out with your friends,” Siegfried said.
Soccer takes up six days of the girls’ week between practices and game days. On top of that, softball, even though it is a spring season sport, has already started having a few captain’s practices, which means on some days Siegfried has two practices to attend.
“Luckily, Coach Martin [Oswego State softball coach Abigail Martin] told me that during soccer season she did not want to bother me, so she let me finish off playing the in-season sport,” Siegfried said.
Sarah Grupp, a sophomore, is also very involved as she is part of two sports that overlap each other: soccer and ice hockey.
Grupp said “serious” hockey practices have not started yet. However, hockey games begin in late October, which means that hockey practices will become more frequent soon. Since the soccer season continues into late November, Grupp will have to balance hockey practices and soccer practices, on top of her academic work.
“My hockey coach is really great about it. She tells me to finish up the soccer season and wait for it to completely be over before I invest all my time in the hockey season,” Grupp said.
What both athletes agreed on is that it is all about balancing their time. Rarely is there time to sit in their rooms and relax after a hard day.
There is always some sort of work to be done for students who have the struggle of balancing two sports and all of their practices, meetings and games while making sure all their academic work is complete. Free time comes in small increments in each day, and depending on schedules, some days there is no free time at all.
Both Grupp and Siegfried dealt with the issue of playing two sports during the academic school year last year. Both girls said they have adjusted to the rigorous schedule. They showed that it takes incredible self-discipline to be a multi-athlete college student. They have a schedule each day and they must stick to it or they risk falling behind.
It’s the love of the games they play that allow Grupp and Siegfried to not mind that they have a schedule for most of the year so full that free time is a premium. Going through the intense practices and spending hours of time on the soccer field and ice hockey rink not only helps them prepare for the season, it helps them become more organized. That is the most important quality needed to succeed in college and whatever they decide to do in the future.