Athletes can be misunderstood

Austin Herrington, Staff Writer

A common misconception for athletes is they are students who just play sports in school to become popular and well known throughout campus. But the biggest one yet is that people believe athletes are not smart and have that stereotypical face on them known as a “dumb jock.”

Athletes are one of the most disciplined students you will ever find. They spend over 30 hours a week devoted to their sport and still find time to juggle not only schoolwork but possibly a part-time job as well to pay for expenses. Student athletes are expected to be a good student because in order to actually play for your team, you have to have good grades. The grades also matter for many, in case they don’t end up going pro in their sport. If you look at where professional players went in college and how they performed you would be surprised about what you would see.

Richard Sherman, a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks went to Dominguez High School and was an outstanding student, graduating with the second-highest GPA in his class with a 4.2, while playing football and track and field.  He then continued his football and academic career at Stanford where he finished with a 3.9 GPA and not only obtained his undergraduate degree in communications, but he returned in his final year of eligibility to get his master’s degree as well.

Being able to juggle the life of an athlete, student and working a part time job is harder than you think. I have played baseball ever since I was 5 years old and as I got older I started to realize how much harder it was going to get for me. The constant late nights because of homework I was behind on because I had a late game or I worked until 10:30 pm that night started to wear on me. There have been times when I thought not playing would be best for myself and I would become less stressed. But what good comes out of quitting? I have learned through playing baseball that you can persevere through anything. Whether its beating your older sister in a video game or it’s the last inning of the championship game or worse when its 10 at night and you have a paper due at midnight, you just have to be able to tell yourself you can do it.

Nobody said it was going to be easy that’s for sure. But it’s not about taking the easy route but instead taking the one that’s harder for you with the better success. Not everything is going to get handed to you in life.

You actually have to work for the things you want. I know that I’m not always going to have baseball in my life, but instead of looking at it as a negative, I look at it more a positive to work for a career other than baseball. Being able to put food on the plate for my family will be my ultimate goal.

But again where does all this stem from? It comes from being a student athlete. I bet you that if you gave an athlete the benefit of the doubt, you will be surprised about what we can accomplish. We as athletes don’t get that much free time and the free time we do have is generally doing homework because we want to be able to play the sport we love. We all know how fun sports are to watch but the work we put off the field is what really matters.

The next time you think that athletes don’t have much going on with their lives just know that we are working harder than you think. We want a good career just as the average Joe does.

We are constantly working 24/7 on things that sometimes might not even involve our sport. Let the athletes know that they will and can get through the stress, late nights and the torture of school.

Champions are made when no one is watching.