The term student-athlete only states two occupations, but encompasses so much more. College athletes do more than just balancing school and sports. Our daily lives are planned to the very minute on how to succeed in school to get the top grades and how to excel in your sport, on and off the field.
On top of that, there are a multitude of extra curricular activities that college athletes participate in. Being a student athlete at Gonzaga means you go above and beyond to help your community, whether it is volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or doing events with Catholic Charities. Being a Zag means cultivating yourself in ways that foster your best person. We are men and women for others and that is shown through all that we do.
When the NCAA’s ‘A Day in the Life’ video came out, at first I thought, “OK, cool, this will be a fun way to illustrate a way most athletes live their lives.” But, wow, was I wrong. The NCAA’s attempt was not well received by myself or any athlete that I know — nor should it have been. Of course, it is hard to capture what a day in the life of anyone is like, but I wonder if the NCAA even talked to any of their athletes before creating this video.
The video starts with an athlete smiling and easily waking up. Then, it shows the athlete wide awake in classes, causally walking around campus, easy jogs, an attempt at homework, a basketball game and then bedtime.
I don’t think there is one athlete that you could talk to who remotely relates to this video. Essentially, it throws away the hard work and makes it seem like the balancing act is much easier than in actuality. This video was the utopian life as a student-athlete, nothing connects to reality.
What the video doesn’t show is all of the details. The struggle to wake up early in the morning or the frantic, panicked wakeup to your third or fourth alarm when you pleaded for five more minutes, 15 minutes ago. The rushing from class to class because you scheduled all of your classes back to back, in an attempt to squeeze in every class before practice.
The part that stood out to me the most was that the athlete in the video did not eat or drink water once. As an athlete, fueling before and after lift sessions and workouts is very important. Honestly, I probably eat between five and six times each day: three meals with lots of snacks mixed in.
There is also the struggle of switching between drinking gallons of coffee and water. Just enough coffee to keep you energized and awake. Just enough water to balance the coffee and keep you hydrated.
Those are just a few missing aspects. Every student-athletes’ experience is different. But what we all share is determination and hard work. No matter the school assignments, the imminent competition, a job or just life, student-athletes give their all to everything they do. That is something that the NCAA needs to recognize.
“A Day in the Life” was a good idea but the execution missed the mark.
Brianna Vasquez is an A&E editor. Follow her on Twitter: @BriannaVasquez_.