By the time high school rolls around, it is pretty rare to find a student participating in a sport that he or she does not enjoy being a part of. Come college, it seems like every sport’s player loves their position and their team as much as life itself—but aside from playing a beloved game, are there benefits to the excessive sweating and hours of extra work to keep up academically?
The National Collegiate Athletic Association, or the NCAA, is accredited for the many programs they fund in order to support countless student athlete’s health, financial, safety, and educational necessities. The NCAA recognizes the importance of a student’s ability to keep up with his studies in order to effectively participate and excel in his sport. Degree-completion grants and internships are just two of the educational incentives they provide. One of the greatest benefits potentially available to a student athlete is the wider portal to scholarship programs, which includes the Association-wide scholarship program for postgraduates.
Even University student athletes play the game for free, but aside from the scholarship opportunities that can save them money, they can also stand to gain financial help. Through the Student Assistance Fund, players can buy in to or potentially get assistance in getting covered by the NCAA Catastrophic Injury Insurance. Intercollegiate athletic activity can include some of the most gruesome battles, and unfortunately, horrific accidents do happen. Even if the result means the end of a potential playing career, the insurance benefits can be an enormous help until the next step can be determined.
Health and Safety Assurances
Aside from the thoroughly researched routine workouts and drills that support physical activity and endurance, the majority of University athletes undergo drug screening programs either routinely or at the very least, when going to Championships. This is a measure to halt any potential cheating event attempting to take place, but also a positive way to discourage drug use while encouraging passion and activity.
While not an obvious benefit to the students, the NCAA supports rigorous research on sport-related injuries. With constantly evolving technology allowing for clearer images and more thorough dissections, researchers are constantly discovering new ways of preserving our bodies while playing rough on the field. Advanced helmets, guards, cleats, and the like are all created essentially for these promising young athletes.
Typical Small Perks—From What a Coach Witnessed
-Financial aid paperwork speedily processed
-First enrollment in, or access to, certain professor’s classes
-Similar professor’s who “assist” player’s in passing the class
-Jumping ahead in the lunch line—with no complaints
-Convenient private tutoring (usually from the University or Athletic Department)
Time Management—Practice For the Future
One of the greatest lessons one can learn in life is time management, an area that many students do not fully understand until college. For a student athlete, the value of this lesson is heightened to the breaking point. Classes and homework take up the majority of any student’s time, assuming they take a quick shower and sleep only five hours a night. Practices, games, and working out in preparation eat up what little time is left, hoping there is no commuting necessary between any of it.
Then there is the whole fact of being in college, and still being a kid. In a perfectly independent world, a student could complete all of this daily and still have a good head on his shoulders. Unfortunately, humans need socialization and as a student and a jock—you don’t want to be the one left out of this! For the glorious students that successfully play every game and walk the stage at the end of their University time, this invaluable lesson learned may have been the most beneficial part of being a student athlete.
Author Bio: Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he explains a few benefits of being a student athlete and aims to encourage further study through online athletic administration graduate programs.