There’s a lot more to college sports than just being "cool in school". Many former college athletes will tell you that sports taught them discipline, helped them to build character, and resulted in lifelong contacts and friendships. Here are five top benefits for becoming a college athlete.
We don’t mean getting girlfriends, we mean finding long-lasting friends and business partners. Only a small fraction of college athletes go on to playing professionally. The rest may end up as bankers, sales persons, or virtually any other profession. No matter what you are studying, playing sports will give you the unique opportunity to meet people and form friendships that will last for the rest of your life.
When you are going for a job application, the boss will often feel an affinity with you if you both played the same sport in college. Playing sports also allows you to develop close relationships with your teammates as you are all striving together and working to reach the same goal. Years later, these individuals will still be as close as your own family.
College life can be extremely unhealthy. Students cram for exams, have poor diets, and hardly ever go out to exercise. You won’t need to worry about any of that if you are an athlete however, since student athletes are required to maintain a certain fitness level to play.
As a student athlete, you will need to juggle school, training, and going to the gym. This will help you to avoid the awkward weight gain that hits so many students during their first college year. As you maintain the lifestyle of an athlete, you will find that you have more energy for studying as well. For many people, these healthy habits last long after graduating.
Applying For a Job
Employers often give preference to former athletes. Why? Because athletes have better time management and discipline than the average graduate. For example, if you are able to maintain good grades and also play a sport, your ability to multi-task and handle pressure is much higher than graduates who did not play sports. Other qualities that employees see in former athletes are the ability to communicate with team members, leadership skills, and keeping a competitive mindset.
Recently survey by the NCSA involving 100 CEOs found that these employers were more inclined to hiring a college graduate with a sports background compared to a non-athlete graduate. Sixty percent of the CEOs also said that they would hire a college athlete with a below-average grade before hiring a non-athlete who had A grades.
College athletes need to work harder than normal college students. While your typical student may need to study three hours a day for an exam, an athlete will need to study three hours a day and also train three hours a day. While normal students wake up at 8am, athletes have to wake up a 5am. This high level of discipline becomes essential later on after graduating.
Find New Interests
Not all college athletes have been playing since high school. New talent is discovered in colleges all the time, so you might be the next sports superstar. Even if that doesn’t work out, playing a new sport is a great way to develop new interests and skills.
Sports in college mean so much more than most people realize. It is extremely beneficial to building character, teaching discipline, and creating a competitive spirit. After graduating, it can also significantly increase your chances of getting a job, especially if your employers also had a sports background. Most importantly, it’s loads of fun and a great way to blow off steam during your studies.
Steven Doumet is a blogger who writes articles relating to the field of athletics. In this article he describes a few benefits of college sports and aims to encourage further study with a Ohio University Coaching Master’s Degree.