CU Athletes Handle Stress Daily

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Most college students think they are under a lot of pressure, and Division I student-athletes are no exception. With 20 hours of practice a week, traveling almost every other weekend for games, and even sometimes traveling for finals, these athletes depend on time management and organization to get them through the school year.

Paige Soenksen is a senior captain goalie on the women’s lacrosse team at CU. She knows the routine, cracking open books, taking notes, racing to get assignments done, and studying on the road – by her fourth year at the University, she has it down to perfection. “I’ve got two papers coming up due next Tuesday which happens to be the weekend we come back from traveling,” said Soenksen.

With a double major in Chinese and International Affairs, she has papers due for almost every assignment across the semester. Luckily for Paige, she has the help of Associate Director for Academics, Mindy Sclaro. Mindy’s job is formed around helping teach athletes time management and study skills, which makes her focus on organization and planning.

“My job is to make sure that all of our athletes academic responsibilities are well coordinated around their athletic responsibilities,” Mindy said.

All of the athletes at CU that enter as a freshman become part of the STEP program that leads athletes on the track to graduate successfully and on time. STEP stands for Success Training and Excellence Planning for student-athletes. One of the first requirements they must fulfill is eight hours of study hall in each week, on top of practice time. More of the STEP requirements are focused on attending sessions that teach about interviewing for a job, how to dress for success, and money management for after college.

While the Herbst Academic Center is full of people dedicated to helping athletes succeed in the classroom, the athletes also learn how to succeed in the classroom while on the road. Often times, a test or even a final must be proctored on the road at a different university. However, head women’s lacrosse Ccoach Ann Elliott understands that school must be factored into travel plans. She said, “Our students are very diligent. Whenever we get a study room on the road they take advantage of it.”

Paige, now having gone through her four years at CU knows that she must give underclassmen still working advice on how to get through – and her one piece of advice? Time management. According to Paige it is the single key to success.

However, while balancing traveling, studying, and athletics comes easily to Paige, not all student athletes feel the same way. Sydney Evensen is a junior student athlete at University of Colorado. Majoring in Finance, she struggles to keep up with her strenuous workload while on the road during season.

According to Evensen when traveling on trips it is important that she uses all her time very wisely in order to earn good grades with her professors. Learning for Evensen is most easily done when taking notes in class, so having to meet with her classmates outside of class when she is hope from trips is a huge disadvantage. However, being a part of her team is very worth the challenges she faces in the classroom.

CU’s Women’s Lacrosse team ranks 9th in the nation.

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