By Jen Rodino
When looking back and reflecting on our college memories and experiences, attending sporting events and supporting our fellow student athletes will always be one memory that is permanently etched in our minds.
Here at Palm Beach Atlantic University, we have a large number of student athletes who choose to come here and share their special talents and skills.
Not only do we have students from all over the United States, but we have a number of international students. It is always exciting to be at the winning game where we support the athletes and display our school spirit.
However, what we do not realize is that athletes follow a demanding schedule each day in order to stay on top of their game and perform their very best.
“Three days a week I have to attend 6 a.m. workouts,” said baseball player Graham White. “In addition to the 6 a.m. workouts, we also have several practices that last up to three hours. My only days off are Tuesdays and Sundays. I am lucky if I can squeeze in a nap during the day.”
Most athletes will agree that even though their days are packed with practices and workouts, it all pays off in the end.
Winning a game that required a lot of effort and training is always rewarding. Student athletes deserve a great deal of credit for being able to balance school, practices, games and everything else that is important to them.
Sometimes as spectators we do not realize the amount of stress and pressure that may be placed on athletes.
In 2008, a new rule at PBA was initiated that requires all new athletes to live on campus. The coaching staff at PBA wants all its athletes to grow into leaders.
“We believe that the students should not only be athletes at the school, but also leaders,” said Athletic Director Bob White. “As it is, with the demanding schedule that an athlete has, they are already isolated from the student body. By requiring the athletes to live on campus, this will allow them to be socially and spiritually engaged in the opportunities that PBA has to offer them. We want the athletes to make friendships beyond their teammates.”
“We want to enhance the blessing given to the athlete and present them with the opportunity to expand the scholarship dollars,” White said.
Lynn University, located down the road in Boca Raton, also requires that all student athletes live on campus while playing for the school.
Sometimes living with an athlete can become difficult, especially if the rooming arrangement is randomly selected. It is not always easy for an athlete and a non-athlete to adjust their daily routines to accommodate each other.
“It took time getting used to,” said Victoria Johnson, whose roommate is an athlete. “For the first couple of weeks, I would always wake up in the mornings when my roommate left for her early workouts. But now I have just learned to ignore it and go with the flow.”
People at other universities would say that athletes form their own social circles. With this new rule that PBA has established, the idea is to have all of the students bond and get to know each other.