Is Playing a College Sport Worth It?

Is Playing a College Sport Worth It?

High school sports are great for exercise, college applications and the team experience. But in college, things get more serious, and more time-consuming. A new article from CNN.com chronicles a few different college athletes, all who have trouble squeezing in games, traveling and their studies. Is it worth it?

First off, college athletes travel across the country on a regular basis. Boston College travels to Miami for competition in the Atlantic Coast Conference; Louisiana Tech has league games in Hawaii and Boise, Idaho. East Carolina has a league opponent in Houston, Texas. Now that Nebraska is going to the Big Ten, its athletes will have to play all the way in State College, Pennsylvania, which is 1,072 miles away.

Traveling means missing classes, so players have to deal with unsympathetic professors and teaching themselves material. Dr. Ed Etzel, a psychologist and professor at West Virginia University said that the traveling schedules can have big impacts. “Even for the best, most motivated and well-organized students, it can be challenging to deal with trying to be excused from classes, do work in advance or make up work, studying on the road in a bus, in airplane, airport or hotel,” Etzel said. “The focus of these trip is to be preparing for, participating in, and subsequently recovering from physically and psychologically demanding competitions.”

For athletes looking to play professionally, college sports are a must. Just be realistic about your course load, talk to your professors ahead of time to make arrangements, and look to older teammates for guidance and advice. See if you can schedule your hardest classes for the off-season.

If sports are just your hobby or way to stay in shape, consider attending a Division 3 school or playing on a club or intramural team. If you’re not going to play sports professionally, you want to get the most out of your degree, and you don’t want to miss out on the rest of the college experience!

Photo: TSN