Typically, student-athletes are recruited to score touchdowns, hit home runs, or sprint on a track; but what makes my experience unique is that I was recruited to fight with swords. My name is Firoz George, and I am a Saber Fencer for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and I am going to take you through a day in my life as a student-athlete.
I have morning classes every day, so I usually wake up around 8 am and immediately head to the dining hall to grab a quick breakfast. My go-to is typically bacon and eggs with fruit on the side. Then I start walking to my first class and on the way make a stop at the student-athlete fueling station. The fueling station is a place where athletes can get food for their day. Options include protein shakes, power bars, fruit, sandwiches, beef jerky, yogurt, and other snacks. While there, I usually stock up on some sandwiches and protein bars. This is essential for me because during the day I do not have time to eat lunch at the dining hall. I strategically have my classes scheduled back to back, so I have time to get ready for practice afterwards.
After my classes, I head over to the fencing gym where I meet with the Saber Coach for a private training session. Private fencing lessons are one-on-one training sessions where fencers have the opportunity to work with their coaches on their footwork, blade technique, and tactics for bouts (fencing matches). It allows coaches to identify small details that the fencers need to fix. I am required to have two of these training sessions a week.
When I finish my private lesson, I usually have some time before our team lift, so I stretch or roll myself out to stay loose. I also sometimes go to our team trainers for treatments. I have bad knees so at treatments I usually do exercises that focus on strengthening them, but many of my teammates also go to get taped up or receive cupping. Cupping is a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy. After the lift, my team and I go back to the fencing gym to begin our regular team practice. We only lift two to three times a week, so some days we have longer practices than others.
Our practices usually end around 6 pm and afterwards my teammates, and I get dinner together. If it is the end of the practice week, I typically take an ice bath as well. It initially feels like i’m going to turn into an icicle, but it is worth it because it immediately reduces the swelling while flushing lactic acid out of my body. When I am done, I head back to my dorm to shower and then go to either the student-athlete academic center or the library to finish my homework.
I usually get back to my dorm around 12 am, and I pass out in a couple of seconds of my foot entering the room. I wake up early in the morning just to do the same thing over again. We do get rest days, and those are the best because we can relax or catch up on school work.
Being a student-athlete is a huge commitment, but I have found it to be super rewarding as well. I have had so much fun being on a team, created great friendships and compete at the collegiate level. I would not trade it for anything in the world.
For the high school student-athletes, I hope this gives you some insight on what it takes to be a Saber Fencer at the college level. Stay focused and work hard.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.