Hitting the Books After The Game

How do Student-Athletes balance their schedule between academics and athletics?

In the daily life of the campus, there is a group of people who are very special. In addition to balancing academic work, they also have to spend time practicing and preparing for the season’s game. They are Trojans, Skyline College student-athletes.

As a student-athlete, they are both students and athletes. Their lives are not only filled with training and practicing but outside of the game, there’s nothing different on assignments and exams compared with full-time students.

With only 24 hours in a day, managing their daily schedule between academic and athletic is not only a task for players; for coaches, this could be one of the key factors for the team success.

Regarding this Joe Morello, Dean of Kinesiology, Athletics & Dance indicates that during the season, practice is not playing a couple of hours a day; however, physical training like injured played for recovery might take an additional hour each day.

“I would say the daily commitments probably about three to three and a half hours a day, but it varies.”

Besides, there are home and away games during the seasons. For away games, it takes 6-8 hours in a day even as long as 10 hours depending on the distance. But outside of those times, students can prioritize their schedules.

“They know what the schedule is really on a weekly basis,” Morello said. “They’re able to plot that out so they have the time to make sure that they’re getting their schoolwork done.”

Eventually, the level of responsibility and commitment required of any student-athlete is a tall order. Michala O’Donoghue, the Trojans Women’s basketball team guard acknowledged that time management is a challenge for student-athletes.

“I think that the student-athlete is kind of more work because you’re a full-time student and then you have to go to practice and like some of us also work,” O’Donoghue said. “it’s a lot of time management is definitely the biggest struggle”

For the student-athletes who play in community colleges, they have different GPA requirements than full-time students to reach out. According to the California Community College Athletic Association, student-athletes should achieve a minimum 2.0 GPA and meet the six-unit requirements.

In order to reach a higher GPA, during the seasons, the coaches are not only coaching the team into victory, but they are arranging some tutoring in the course so that students can keep up with academic work.

Chris Watters, the head coach of the women’s basketball team states that in the past, they had arranged study halls for students to complete homework. Recently, they just finished individual tutoring, where the coach has introduced students to tutors in the learning center as well as taking advantage of the resources at Skyline.

“We encourage students to keep an open line of communication tools with us so that we know if they’re falling behind and with their teachers. So you know if there’s something that can be arranged.”

When asked about how they help players with academic, both coaches revealed their background in education

“I have an educational background as a teacher, and so does our assistant coach Charlee Jones. And so, you know, we’re able to in some ways, work with them,” Walter said. “Whether it’s proofreading essays and giving feedback to help constructively provide constructive criticism to help students work.”

When asked about his success and students transforming, Coach Walter explains the status of players who get further education in the past two years

“In the last two years, we’ve had 9 out of 10 that are going to be at either a four-year college, or in a certified program to start their career, so I think statistically, we’re looking at being in a really good spot.

Being a student-athlete, they not only have to work with teammates to win games, but they also need to learn how to manage their daily schedule, but this can also help to prepare themselves for having a bright future.