Fun Filled Summer

How College Sports Can Help Your Future

Being a college athlete is one of the greatest feelings in the world. The thrill of winning a game is unlike anything and the bond with your fellow teammates you form is irreplaceable. By the time an athlete is in college, playing the game and the routine that comes with it is second nature. On campus, athletes are usually looked up to. They’re often the face of a school and seen as leaders and role models.

When these aspects of life are taken away, it’s easy to feel lost. Low self-esteem and confusion from lack of identity are emotions that are tied to this transition in life. Playing a sport gives you an identity that feels like it can never be taken away. However, this isn’t the case when graduating college; the transition of leaving a sport can be shocking.

Such a small amount of athletes get a chance to play their sport in college, and even fewer get to take their talents and play professionally. Finding a place in the real world can seem overwhelming if continuing your sport after college is not in the cards.

Although student athletes might feel confused when saying goodbye to playing competitively, the things learned by being a college athlete have prepared athletes for the real world in more ways than you might think.

Monmouth University’s women’s golf coach Sue DeKalb offered her input. She said that playing sports in college is a great thing to have because employers will know that “you are able to manage your time, work well with co-workers, and will be able to perform under pressure from the responsibilities and duties you had as a member of a team.”

Having to live life with a regimented schedule of balancing practice, workouts, meetings, games, and classes teaches time management skills that are unmatched. Being a college athlete also forms a person into being a team player with stellar communication skills.

Faith Garcia, a senior business student on the women’s golf team said “Graduation is right around the corner for me, and sometimes thinking about that is overwhelming. Throughout these last four years, I know that I’ve grown as a person through golf,” she said.

 I’ve definitely learned a lot that will be beneficial in the workplace so that makes me feel more secure about my future.”

All of these aspects of being a part of a team has prepared student athletes for the real world in more ways than one.

Taking what you have learned as an athlete, being vulnerable, and open to the next challenge in life is what transitioning from college athletics is all about. Moving on from the sport you have played your whole life might be harder than any difficult play you ever had to make.

However, with this struggle comes the opportunity to reinvent yourself. The countless hours spent at practice weren’t for nothing. The wins and memories made on and off the field are things that will always be a part of you.

Some might take a path that involves their sport after college, while others will take a brand new journey. Whatever the case is, embrace the transition.

“I’ll miss competing so much,” said Erin DiDonato, a  senior biology student. “Even though the stage of playing for Monmouth is over, I’m going to continue to play recreationally forever. The passion I have for golf will always be there.”

 Saying goodbye to the sport you love might be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do as an athlete but it is important to remember that the next phase of your life is something to be excited about.

When transitioning from college sports, creating new goals for yourself and focusing on happiness will help you move on to the next phase. Everything you learned from being a student athlete will guarantee that you succeed outside of that sport.

Even though you are not actively competing anymore, the joy you gained from your sport will always be a part of you.

PHOTO COURTESY of Cassandra Capozzi-Smith