As a college baseball player and biology major, there are a lot of things about my day that differs from other student-athletes, and most students in general. As every college athlete knows, there is no offseason, but there are certain things I do throughout the day that make my college experience a unique one. Without sugar coating anything, let’s get right into it.
Every morning, I wake up around 45 minutes before my first-morning class starts, generally between 8:30 am and 9:00 am to take a shower to get my day started. I usually have breakfast every morning, and eat a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, fruit, apple juice, and an English muffin, either before or after my first class. My goal is to hit the cafeteria every morning but I usually only make it to breakfast 2-3 times during the week. I mean come on, sometimes getting out of bed in the morning is hard, we’ve all been there. So, instead of going to breakfast, the days I don’t make it, I either chug a bottle of water or grab chocolate milk and a granola bar to go. PSA: never skip breakfast it’s the most important meal of the day.
Science majors tend to have a bit more time in class, more so than other majors, due to the added lab component that is attached to some courses. Each student at Trinity takes about 4 to 5 courses per semester, and I do the same. Those classes either meet three times per week for 50 minutes per class or 2 times per week for 75 minutes per class. On top of that add 2-3 of my classes include a 3-hour lab component, in both the fall and spring, you have a pretty full schedule on your hands. Well, I do anyway. To manage this, I usually try to divide the class times up with having 2-3 morning classes and then lab in the afternoon. This spreads my day out more evenly and mimics the routine I maintained throughout high school and most of my life.
At lunchtime, I typically eat with a group of teammates in our main dining hall. Following lunch, and depending on the time of the year and how I’m feeling on that given day, I’ll either go and hit with my roommate, workout in the weight room, or relax for a bit before I mosey on over to my three-hour lab class in the afternoon. The lab is generally in a biology or chemistry discipline and requires a pre-lab and post-lab assignment. They’re a lot of fun and I highly recommend taking as many labs as you possibly can. Walking out of lab at the end of the day is a huge relief since that signifies that I’m done with class for the day. Wait, there’s more. Now begins the baseball portion of my day.
Due to our conference rules that all the schools in our league must follow, we are only allowed three captain’s practices per week from the first week of September through Halloween. This is somewhat limiting, but it helps to build chemistry and a sense of team discipline because every individual is held accountable for how he approaches and goes through practice every day. Of course, on top of that, most of us hit, throw, and practice on our own to make up for lack of team time and get our much-needed practice reps.
We usually practice on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with Thursday being our intrasquad scrimmage where we break up into two teams and play a game against one another. Along with our practices, we lift four days a week throughout the entirety of the fall, all the way through the preseason into March. We progress from individual lifts throughout the day to team lifts that take place on Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday. For the fall, the low end of baseball activity is about 2 hours per day, and the high end can be upwards of 4 hours per day.
In the spring semester, although my class schedule is not all that different from the fall, the baseball aspect of my life is in full swing. In season, we continue to do strength and conditioning, but it is now limited to 2-3 times a week, much lighter than the fall and winter. The lifts are much more flexible and can adhere to your schedule and how you feel on that day. Our strength coach does a great job of letting us listen to our body while maintaining the strength and speed we need to perform on the field. If I’m not heading to a lift, following the end of my class schedule for the day, I’ll grab a snack at one of the dining halls on campus, usually a sandwich wrap or a panini, and head to the locker room. Practice runs from 4:00 pm to around 6:30-7: 00 pm after which time we head to the dining hall to eat dinner as a team. On a typical practice day, with a lift, you’re looking at a 3.5-4-hour time commitment allotted to baseball only.
This changes quite a bit on game days. On game day, if it’s a mid-week, single nine-inning game, this will put us at a 5-hour time commitment. A 2-hour pregame is necessary for full warm up and running, pre-game batting practice, throwing, infield and outfield, lineup announcements and the playing of the national anthem, singing along mandatory. If we’re traveling to an away game, we sometimes leave early during in the day to make a four-hour drive and still make it to the field two hours before first pitch. On a weekend NESCAC conference series weekends are always one 9-inning game on Friday, followed by a 7-inning and 9-inning doubleheader on Saturday.
If the series is at home, we’ll often get to the field at 1 pm for the 3 pm game on Friday and at 10 am for the 12 pm doubleheader starter on Saturday. Saturday is an extra-long day on away trips since we’re never driving less than 2 hours on the bus back to campus. On Saturday, road weekend series, we’ll get on the field at 10 and get home anywhere from 8 pm and 11 pm, making for around 12-15 hours of time dedicated to baseball. That, my friends, is a long day. It can make for some long weekends too, but it’s all worth it to play the sport you love and do so with some of your best friends.
Posted on July 24, 2018 in Life of a College Athlete
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