“I wouldn’t trade being a student-athlete for anything, but I know being a student would probably be much less strenuous.” John Mee, a junior at The University of Texas at Austin, on the men’s tennis team told me when I asked what it was like to be a student-athlete. Only 6% of students on campus are of the student-athlete population, and only 1.5% are Division 1 athletes. “It’s definitely an accomplishment, but I know sometimes I take for granted that I get to be a part of this team and am able to work with these other talented student-athletes.”
John explained that his day on Tuesday and Thursday’s start at 6:30 and don’t end until around 7:30. He begins weight training at 6:30 until 8, then he does recovery, gets ready for class in the locker room and goes to class at 10. He is then in class from 10-2 and has to head to the tennis courts and play until about 6 and then have a team meeting and head to the student-athlete dining hall for dinner. But afterwards, he will usually then go to study hall to get work done for his classes. “It’s much harder to get work done, after a long day of being in the sun.” Mee says. As a student-athlete there is not only practice but then games on the weekends, and sometimes even the week days. “My advisors put me in classes where teachers are more lenient about absences because sometimes I’m required to take tests on the road.”
Although being an athlete is hard, like John said there is nothing more rewarding then when seeing how much there hard work paid off. The Texas Men’s Tennis team will be headed to The Big 12 Championship this coming Thursday and will be playing #5 ranked Oklahoma.