i The Skill of a College Athlete | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Brock Moldenhauer

People go to college for a very basic reason. To get an education and a college degree to aid them in life. College classes are a wonderful resource when it comes to becoming educated and learning material that you will use the rest of your life. You cannot learn everything you will need in life, though, through a book. That is where collegiate level athletics come into play. College athletics teach you skills and lessons that will help you be successful on the job.

Collegiate level athletics can put you in a role or situation where you are forced to lead. In the classroom, it can be easy to sit in the back and just absorb the information and still accomplish the goals you want. On the field, if someone does not step up and take that leadership role you will not get to where championship teams get. As a quarterback, I have experienced this first hand. In the quarterback position I am required to be aware of everything, I have to lead my line to the right blocks, lead the running backs to the right hole, and the wide receivers to their right routes. If I fail to do just one of those, everything else will fall apart. This forces me to think about so much more than just the basics–think outside the box, if you will.  A leader takes responsibility for everyone and if things go south they are the ones who step up and claim the fault and take on the responsibility to fix it for next time. The same opportunities towards the leadership role is applicable in the work force. A leader is required to step up and lead the work team together to a successful year. If a leader tries to do everything by himself and does not guide other employees, everything subsequently falls apart and success is then hard to achieve. That leader must have trust in his work team and trust that together more will be accomplished. Leading in collegiate level athletics can translate to those leaders getting a better job in the future because they have the ability to lead and accept the responsibilities accustomed with the role. Leading is a trait not everyone has but college athletics helps athletes to develop that skill so that you can lead in your work environment.

College athletics not only teach athletes how to lead, they also teach that working as a team is a vital skill that will lead to success. If everyone is not on the same page, that team will fall apart. No one person can think of themselves as greater or more important than anyone else on the team. Respecting each and every position is a great necessity. Everyone is very important to reaching the highest goal. As Sierra watches from the stands, she can understand that everyone on the team has to play for the man next to them and work together as one: “I may not be in any sports, but I have gone to games here at SNC. While watching the teams play I have noticed that sports are not just about winning, but also about working together and being a team. To see everyone working together to accomplish one goal fascinates me.” Being a collegiate level athlete will teach you that if just one person doesn’t do what they are supposed to do, everything can fall apart. In the work place, everyone at some point is part of a team and the ones that work together can be successful. Being on a college athletics team will teach the athletes how to hold a job, be successful in that job, and constantly improve their status with the rest of the team rather than if trying to do everything for themselves or on their own. Participating in college athletics will teach you to always honor your team in the workplace and you will be successful within the job.

It is understandable to say that college athletics takes away from student athlete’s education because of the huge time commitment that it requires. College athletics does not necessarily help with the schooling aspect but it does create skills that can be directly applied to the work load of school. In Andrew’s experience, sports often put athletes in positions where they are pinched for time: “There are some days where I wake up at 6:00 a.m. to go weight lifting and my day ends around 11:00 p.m. doing homework. Football interferes with my school because when most students are getting their homework done, I am at practice.” Student athlete have to find time to do all the school work in between practices, lifts, and film studies. With all the extra activities, student athletes are still required to pass all of the classes just as a student that does not participate in collegiate level athletics would. College athletics teaches student athlete’s how to manage their time when they are put in a tough position when sports interfere with school. This will lead to help them when, on the job they are forced to do a job that they might put them in a tough position but they still have to complete in a timely matter to be successful.

Everyone can be put into hard positions throughout their life including in their careers. College athletics holds the student athletes to a high standard that will carry over into working with a team on the job. In college athletics, it isn’t about working through the adversity to make money for yourself, though. In athletics, teammates work through the pain and suffering for the team, not themselves. Knowing that everyone on the team is put in the same tough scenarios and situations, makes all the hard work that much more worth it when successful. Athletes don’t do it for themselves. They do it for the team and they will hold each and every teammate accountable. In a career, many times you work through the adversity to continue to make a living, to make money, or to support a family. In college sports you do it for the good will of the team. There is no one holding you there saying you have to do this to live a good life. At any point you are free to walk away from it but you don’t. You work through it so that you do not leave your team hanging. College sports teach you to work through adversity and tough positions, just as a job would, but without the account of doing it for yourself.

Life will eventually teach you everything, if you’re patient enough, but there are more efficient ways in learning it all. College athletics are one of the most effective ways to learn lifelong skills and lessons. After participating in college sports, you will have learned how to be a leader and subsequently how to lead a group to success. You will have been put in many positions that you haven’t felt comfortable in and learned how to cope with those scenarios. It teaches you how to respect a team and how to be strong and work together toward a common goal. Lastly, it teaches you that in life you will have work hard for what you want and none of it will come easy. Collegiate level athletics teach you so much more than just how to be a student athlete, it teaches you the ways of life.

 

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