Being a successful student-athlete is not an easy task and requires much knowledge and skills that cannot always be taught in a classroom setting. There are many things that college athletes are just not simply prepared for or have much wisdom about when they step foot on a college campus as a freshman. Collegiate baseball player Brandon Rembert can attest to these claims. The very experienced Pensacola, Florida native is in his 5th year of collegiate baseball and has journeyed through his own ups and downs throughout his college years.
Brandon has molded himself into a well-accomplished student-athlete garnering numerous academic and athletic accolades throughout his collegiate year. The 22-year-old has accumulated two college degrees and is now pursuing his master’s degree in athletic administration and coaching. Rembert wants to make use of his vast experience as a student-athlete and wants to give advice to others in his position to help them to be able to succeed on and off of the field. Rembert gives these 7 pieces of advice to college athletes to help them make the most out of their collegiate careers:
1. Find a Work-Play Balance
BR: As a student athlete, your schedule is pretty much filled up every day. Between class, practice, study hall, and other activities, there is little time for a student-athlete to have much fun. As a student-athlete you want to enjoy your college experience and not dread every minute of being there. Overworking yourself will cause you to burn out. I encourage student-athletes to participate in an activity outside of sports and academics at least once a week. For me, that activity was bowling. Bowling would help me get my mind off of all of my duties as a student-athlete and just relaxed me and helped me let loose for a bit. I believe a good work-play balance is necessary for any student-athlete to have in order to stay grounded.
BR: As a college athlete, I feel like budgeting is one of the most important things that student-athletes aren’t told about. It is necessary for one not to spend money on everything that they lay their eyes upon. If someone is very wealthy, they should by all means feel free to spend their wealth. But for those that are less fortunate, it is necessary to keep a track of your spending and make sure your money is going to the right places. I suggest that one keep a file on how much they are spending a month and the different places that the money will stream to. I believe that this will prevent student-athletes from overspending and help them to be literate with their money.
3. Prioritize Academics
BR: Being a student athlete, it can be hard to juggle academics and athletics. Some athletes may be more interested in the athlete side more than the academics side of things. I believe that academics should hold more weight than the athletics side of things. Not everyone that plays a sport collegiately will be able to play it professionally. That is just the reality of things. Some athletes may have to get a real job one day and there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever. That is why I like to stress the fact that academics do matter when you’re an athlete. Academic success can take someone a long way after sports are over and it is important for an athlete to prioritize that. When the athlete finally has to hang up his or her cleats, they then can have something to fall back on that is outside of their specific sport.
4. Get Your Sleep
BR: A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things that a student-athlete should strive to attain every night. Athletes are constantly on the go and their bodies are put under high levels of stress constantly. A good night’s rest is very essential to athletes in the recovery process of their bodies. College athletes should strive for a good 8 hours of sleep a night. A good night’s rest can help improve focus and also boost performance. Sleep is a much underrated health hack that can truly improve an athlete’s livelihood. I suggest that one set a night alarm for when it’s time to go to bed so they can assure themselves that they will get the proper amount of sleep.
5. Be Quick to Listen and ask Questions
BR: College is about learning new things and experiences. The best way to learn is to listen and ask questions. I learned many new techniques from just listening to advice from others, especially others who are more experienced at something than I was. In class, many students may be afraid to ask questions because they are scare of what people may say or think. My personal belief is that one should ask away. Asking questions is the best way to gain new insight on things and further knowledge. Once I started asking more questions, I started to acquire more useful information that I would not have garnered if I were to have not asked questions.
6. Be Yourself
BR: When arriving to college, one will be met with a variety of different cultures, different backgrounds, and different types of personalities. It’s always easy to try to be the cool kid and try to fit in with everyone at school. It is a common thing for a person to get lost in another person’s image and forget who they are as a person. College is a great time to explore oneself, try new things, and meet new people. It is not difficult for one to forget who they are and let go of one’s standards and morals in order to be like someone who they are not. This tip is not only for just student-athletes, but students in general. I encourage students to be themselves, because no one else can do it better than they can.
7. Find Ways to Serve Your Community
BR: As a student athlete, service to your community is very important. Some of the biggest supporters of sports programs are members of the community. They will be there to cheer you on whether you win or lose. It is very important to give back to those people. Making sure you are connected and involved in the community will go a long way. It may be as simple as picking up trash around some of the communities closer to the school. Serving the community helps one to see things from a different perspective other than the athlete perspective and helps to develop new found respect for the places and people that are around you.