A Day in the Life of a Student-Athlete | St. Lawrence University

A Day in the Life of a Student-Athlete

Sam Okpan

Being a student-athlete at St. Lawrence is a difficult and rewarding experience. Student-athletes put copious hours into fine-tuning their skills and preparing their minds and bodies in order to beat their opponents. Contrary to the stereotype that describes athletes as jocks who could care less about academics, many student-athletes here have seen success on and off the field. On top of working to be a better athlete than the previous day, athletes bring that same mentality to their academics. Balancing the rigorous academic and intense athletic schedules is challenging, but is achievable. In addition to their academics and athletics, many student-athletes at St. Lawrence are active members in clubs and community outreach programs. To give some insight into the day in the life of a student athlete, I will walk you through my regular Monday.

6:45 a.m.

Many student-athletes begin and end their days when the sun is down. As a SLU football player, my week starts with the alarm ringing at 6:45 a.m. on Monday. The team meets to go over the previous Saturday game. At first, we separate (defensively and offensively) to recap the game from the perspective of that specific unit. We break down the film in an effort to visualize our mistakes and learn from them. Then, we break up with our position coaches to diagnose the game from our perspective. This meeting starts at 7 and ends around 7:45 a.m.. After, we are encouraged to go to breakfast as a team to not only build team chemistry but to maintain our playing weights. On our team, losing weight is a cardinal sin. Some players go from the meeting straight to the weight room for a mandatory lift. Each player lifts at least twice a week.

9:20 a.m.

After breakfast, I go to Geology. If you were to visit that class or any class with football players, you would see them sitting in the first two rows. We pride ourselves on being serious about our academics. This season, we had 10 players earn a spot on the Liberty League All-Academic team. After Geology, I go to the Pub to do work with some of my teammates and get more food. Coach Puck (our head coach) has stressed to us how important it is to do work during our free time throughout the day instead of playing video games or napping.

11:40 .a.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Back-to-back classes: Intermediate Spanish and Survey of Caribbean & Latin American History. One of the many advantages of being on a sports team with over 100 teammates is that one of them will be able to get me food before my next obligation.

2 p.m.

Head to Payson Hall for my shift as an Admissions Ambassador, where I give tours to and contact prospective students and provide them with more information about St. Lawrence. This wraps up at 4 p.m., when I finish work and end my academic day.  

4:15 p.m.

The football team has another meeting for weekly team awards, go over the upcoming Saturday opponent and watch special teams film. Each week we recognize the offensive, defensive, special teams, and scout team Players of the Week. After film, you will see some teammates getting treatment for various injuries. At 5 p.m., we take the field. We install the packages, plays, and personnel that we will run against our next opponent. We run those plays, packages, and personnel against each other at a faster pace. At the end of practice, we have conditioning. “Condo” has never been a punishment, it's just another way for us to get better and be better prepared to play.

6:15 p.m.

All 100 players go to Dana for dinner. The whole team sits together because we are a family and basically do everything together.

7:30 p.m.

Players head to various spots on campus to do work together. Some say working with your friends is a bad idea because of the distractions, but that is different for the football guys. All of us are tired from our classes, work, and practice, but having a group of people who are all tired motivating each other to do homework is extremely helpful. We hold each other accountable for our academics because, at the end of the day, we chose SLU because of its excellent academics and athletics and players can’t play if they have bad GPAs.

11 p.m.

On a good night, this is when I finish my homework,allowing me to get another meal in at the Pub. (I can’t stress this enough, football players losing weight is a cardinal sin). After my last meal, I go back to my dorm, brush my teeth, wash my face and go to bed, ready to do it all again.