Varsity sports and academics Student-athletes at McMaster are proven to do better in academics, and on the field

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By: Myles Baldwin

The life of a student-athlete is different from that of most other students in the sense that the 24-hour day is consumed with either sports or schoolwork.

Living this type of lifestyle may be overwhelming, although the responsibility of the student is to manage their time around studies, training, workouts and a balanced social life.

Varsity sports help students achieve higher marks by teaching valuable time management skill and helping them develop the skill to enhance their academics.

The student-athlete title comes with leadership and accountability. Athletes are responsible for maintaining high academic marks and a dominating performance on the field.

Most people are unaware about what it takes to fulfil the “student-athlete” image because they do not understand the amount of hard work and dedication it takes. McMaster students are held to high standards, and learn different tools in in sports, which transfer to the class room as well. For example, student-athletes are expected to arrive early to work-outs, which translates into showing up to class earlier than usual as a result.

Athletes are encouraged to demonstrate leadership and hard work throughout their obligations.

Accountability is emphasized on a sports team where players are expected to show up early to get a job done and leadership emphasizes being first to arrive to get a head start. The high expectations from varsity sports triggers student-athletes to create a work ethic that differentiates themselves from regular students.

The self-discipline instigated by varsity sports lends itself to academic focus, helping to banish procrastination.

Living this type of lifestyle may be overwhelming, although the responsibility of the student is to manage their time around studies, training, workouts and a balanced social life.

According to an article in the Guardian, “the mind wanders when doing essays, but if you develop a focus and know you have to use your time efficiently then it’s a very transferable skill”.

At McMaster, students on a scholarship are expected to meet a strict grade of 70 per cent in order to remain eligible for the scholarship.

Keeping in mind the amount of time being consumed with sports, student-athletes are forced to work hard and neglect distractions from achieving their mandatory marks to remain eligible.

With the academic requirements being so high, athletes are given a goal to reach which creates motivation they use in their sports to succeed in the classroom.

Eligibility alone pushes student-athletes to work hard in their school work so they are allowed to compete in their sports. McMaster student-athletes are also provided with a fantastic academic advising group who are strictly employed to mentor and guide them through success within their classes.

The student-athletes are responsible to attend mandatory study sessions each week where they are given tutoring and guidance with completing their assignments. This process forces the student-athlete to work hard to achieve the marks necessary to remain eligible.

Daily time consumption for a student-athlete consists of mandatory early morning workouts, class, training and study hall. Athletes are given a time slot each week where they meet with academic advisors to discuss time management. Student-athletes are instructed on how to prepare a schedule, which is useful to keep track of their availability.

Knowing how to manage time wisely at a young age is a beneficial tool for life inside and outside of school.

With that being said, the risk of negative distractions and involvement of activities outside of school or sports are easily preventable. McMaster athletes are taught to manage a positive and healthy social life around their obligations as a student.

These valuable traits will also carry on to benefit them in their future careers. Sports teach young adults how to be brave and confident when stepping outside of their comfort zone.

Varsity sports teaches students how to be comfortable in difficult situations, which is key for conquering assignments at their highest potential.

Students on a sports team have many great resources available to them at McMaster. This includes guidance on how to achieve high marks, manage schedules and conquer obligations. These are all positive rewards as a result of being a part of the varsity sports community at McMaster university.

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