“Free time”: How Beloit student-athletes spend their offseason
Netflix, homework, and spending time with friends make up the Holy Trinity of how the average college student spends their time. For in-season athletes, however, time allotted for practice and games acts as a fourth wheel, cutting this time short.
The fall sports season came to a close this weekend, with the football and cross country teams both wrapping up their seasons on Saturday. Along with the cold, the change of seasons brings newfound free time for athletes of fall sports. So what are these students doing with this novel concept of free time?
“I go to the library after class instead of practice which is pretty nice because I get my work done early,” said Hannah Klehr’18, a runner and thrower on the cross country and track team. “I get to see my roommates more and I still work out, but not as long as I do during season.”
“It’s nice to not have practice end at seven so I can get to the library faster,” said Nikki Hebel’19 of the soccer team.
For some athletes, no longer having practice allows for higher allocations of time to go toward studies, while others rely on the structured schedule of practices to keep productive.
Fasha Kahalelehua’21, who plays both soccer and softball, said, “”I like to have a set schedule. I am more productive during season, which is basically why I do two sports- and because I love playing them.”
In regard to her winter offseason, Kahalelehua said, “I keep myself busy and create my own schedule by working out on my own. The control makes me not slack off in school.”
Julia Moll’18 of the women’s basketball team describes a similar experience. “I think the structure helps me know that I have to get things done at a certain time,” said Moll.
Hebel explains the difference in her motivation to complete assignments during and outside of her season. “In season, it’s like ‘you have to do this,’ but with more time, you think ‘well I could push this until after,’ and end up shitting time away,” said Hebel. “I get to watch more Netflix.”
Even as their seasonal schedules begin to clear up, the grind for conditioning does not necessarily come to an end. Hebel said, “I work out for about an hour and a half during offseason anyway, so the time evens out.”
Kahalelehua also said, “I spend the part of the day working out on my own. This season most of my time is spent on rehabbing my injuries and focusing on school.”
Whether or not it makes them more productive, the end of a sports season opens up new blocks of time for student athletes, giving them the freedom to decide how to put it to use. In or out of season, athletes still have a commitment to their sports regardless of official practice times. As said by Moll, “Ball is life.”