Academics at Grinnell tend to take up a lot of time. It’s no secret that many organizations will add to this load, and sports are certainly a large time commitment, despite the school’s Division III status. Some students, however, find time to juggle academics, organizations and social lives with not one, but two sports.
“[It’s] a huge time commitment,” football and baseball player Max Jacobson ’14 said in an email to the S&B.
Most teams hold practices every day that are tiring, both physically and mentally. Playing sports also can be a social headache. Each team tends to form close bonds within the group and it then becomes hard to sacrifice time with one group for time with another. “[Golf and basketball] became part of my identity and I wanted to continue that throughout my collegiate career,” said Liz Burnett ’13. “I wouldn’t pass [them] up for anything, and through my time management skills, balancing two sports and all my schoolwork, I have been helped in so many other parts of my life.”
Benjamin Charney ’15 is a member of the tennis and soccer teams and the a cappella group, G-Tones.
“Being in a sport has helped me to prioritize my time better. Since I really only have about one and half months without practice, I’ve learned to balance schoolwork, friends and G-Tones,” Charney said. “I think dealing with academics has been the most difficult part. Since I have to deal with practices and games [during] both semesters, I never get that extra time that I would like to study. Also, I am traveling both semesters, so that takes up time. I have learned to manage my time, but to never have a break is tough.” The athletes came to a general consensus about the downside of playing two-sports—that they basically had no free time. “I relax while I study… [but the sports] often take away from my study time,” Jacobson said.
Charney described the social benefits of being on two teams.
“It’s great to be part of two groups. I think it has helped me, socially, especially when I first came to Grinnell it was nice to know so many people right off the bat. It made the transition much easier,” Charney said, “I don’t find it hard to balance. The guys on each team know each other anyway, so sometimes I have lunch with soccer and tennis guys at the same time. Even though during the fall I’m with the soccer guys for the majority of the time, I still find time to hang out with the tennis guys.”
Because golf and basketball are such different sports, it’s hard to see them coinciding in someone’s life. According to Burnett, if someone is interested in two sports, it doesn’t matter how different they may be.
“It’s interesting being a golfer and basketball player, because [golf] is an individualized sport, while basketball is a team sport,” Burnett said. “Being an athlete is part of everyone’s identity and there is a kind of connection with all athletes no matter what individual sport you participate in.”