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The huddle

November 8, 2018 Jaelin Alburg

Day in the Life of a Yale Football Player

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The life of a Yale football player means hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. In my experience as a college football player, there are three very distinct periods of the year that have very different aspects. The three periods that I am talking about are in season, the offseason and spring ball. The most significant difference in these time periods are “accountable hours” that the NCAA allows per week. In season and during spring ball the NCAA allows 20 hours a week and only mandates one day off from mandatory activity per week. In the offseason, this drops to 10 hours while mandating two days without mandatory activity per week.

The typical in-season days for me begin with team breakfast, this is where everyone on the team has to roll through and sign in to eat by 9:30 am. This turns the dining hall into the football team’s personal banter room, which is fun for all of us. After breakfast, I head off to class. We can schedule classes that end as late as 2:15 and this is because pre-practice meetings start at 2:40. The number of classes vary by day but no matter what I make sure to have nap time every day. I  usually eat lunch around noon and watch film or go to the training room before heading back to my dorm for my daily nap.

Yale’s football locker room, practice facilities, and the Yale Bowl are all off campus, so we have busses that shuttle us back and forth. So when I wake up from my nap, I head over to the gym to hop on the bus to go to meetings and practice. We have various special team meetings and positional meetings, we watch film of previous games/practices. After the meetings, I head to the locker room to start the process of getting ready for training by getting taped up for practice. It’s here we the team loves to joke around with one another. Our practice times and the daily intensity of the practices varies depending on the day and how close we are to playing a game. Post-practice, unfortunately, there’s only one dining hall that stays open, so typically we have a big team meal to wrap up the day. After dinner we all settle down to do our homework, writing papers and studying for tests.

Next up is offseason, I don’t mind this season because it gives us some much needed free time. The day starts off with our team breakfast; this is a year-round thing for us. Go figure. After eating with some of the guys, I roll into classes for the day. We have a lot more freedom with class scheduling in the offseason due to having extra time, so this is usually when we will take more classes. My usual nap rule still applies to the offseason especially if I plan on functioning properly throughout the day. Around noon I’ll grab lunch before heading off to an afternoon class.

After I’m done with my classes, I’ll try to grab some more food before I head back to my dorm. I usually get back and squeeze in a few episodes of The Office, or I will play video games such as Fortnite before lifting. Side note, The Office is the best show ever, and I recommend you see all nine seasons, that’s if you haven’t already. Next, I will head off to the training facilities where I will lift, keeping in top physical condition is essential when it comes to playing football, so I give 110 percent to my training. With more free time in the offseason, I will hang out with the guys, and we will do things that are not football-related. For me, I usually play video games, typically NBA 2k, Fortnite, or FIFA. This gives me the time to relax and have my own time.

When spring ball rolls around, it’s time to put away the video games and get to work. Spring ball varies from college to college, but Yale’s starts early in the morning at 4:45. We arrive at the field at six am and the team practices for about two hours. After that, I head back to campus and grab a quick breakfast before heading to my morning class.

After class  I will head over to watch the film from the morning practice and by this time I am starving, so I head on over to the cafeteria for some lunch. I eat my lunch quickly then I go to class, after class, I gobble down a snack as I head back to my dorm. Once I get back, I’m super excited because it’s my favorite time of the day, nap time! After my quick nap I’m off to the training room to loosen up my muscles, I get parts of my body worked on for preventative measures before lifting and heading to dinner to wrap up the day. Spring ball usually results in the day ending earlier than in-season training. Being a Yale football player is a privilege, and I take my sport and academics very seriously. If you work harder than the next, then you to can be a successful college athlete.