1. COMMUNICATE - Communication may be the hardest part of your responsibilities as a student athlete, but it's a vital tool if you want to succeed. Use all the resources you have at your disposal and make the most out of support systems and networks. Don't be afraid to talk to your coaches or advisors if you're struggling or something is bothering you. Also, make sure to keep your friends and family in the loop as much as possible. Reach out to other students in your class (not just the other athletes) and let your professors know about absences or conflicts in advance so you can work something out. The Stony Brook community has many people who are here to help you!
2. KEEP A REALISTIC SCHEDULE - Not just for class and athletics, but for your social life (what's left of it at least) and even for sleep. Trying to map out your days helps, whether that's putting a limit on those extra workouts you were sneaking in or making sure you get enough shut-eye. Everyone should be able to thoroughly enjoy their collegiate experience.
3. ACT THE PART - As an NCAA athlete, you are a role model to other students. Depending on your athletic success and attitude, you may also become a target for other students, professors, and/or the media. Playing collegiate sports is a unique privilege. Keep your image clean and stay away from negative influences.
4. BRING WORK ON THE ROAD - If you're not bringing your schoolwork on the road with you, especially during overnights, you're doing yourself a disservice. I understand how important focus and preparation are when it comes to athletics, but sometimes the best way to focus is to get lost in some reading or homework for a few hours. Try to sit/room with classmates on road trips so you can study or complete classwork together.
5. ENJOY - At the end of the day, if you find yourself having more bad days than good ones, don't be afraid to reevaluate your decision to be a student athlete. Not everyone wants to handle the stress and time demands that come with being a student athlete and there's no shame in stepping away from a team in order to improve your GPA or enjoy a college life a bit more.
"Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play." - Mike Singletary
"Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be grateful. Conceit is self-driven; be careful." - John Wooden
“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.” - Mia Hamm
"I talk to student athletes... I try to get them to remember that they're not just athletes, but student-athletes. You need to get an education, keep your hands clean and try to represent the University" - Earl Campbell
"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." - Vince Lombardi
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