Many of us take an interest in sports from a young age. When we are little, we have no idea how long we will play sports or how far it can take us in life. It is similar school. A good education is important, and that can come in many forms. College may not be the right answer for everyone, but it should never be written off simply because it seems unattainable or like an unknown. This is why we host College Experience Days, to show kids what college life is like and give them to chance to hear from admissions staff and student-athletes about how to get here and how to succeed. For the people who want to attend college, the big question for some people is, how to get there. A great avenue that you can take to go to college, is through sports.
Now, you may be thinking of athletic scholarships—and those can certainly help pay for college. But sports can also provide so much more.
Both in life and sports, kids need to have fun to be able to succeed. If they are able to have fun, then they are going to succeed more times than not! While I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to go onto college and get a good education and play baseball at the same time. If we’re having fun, then the hard work is still hard work, but it is much more enjoyable.
Playing a sport in high school and then in college is a good way to learn positive life lessons as well. Teamwork, dedication, and hard work can all come from playing a sport in college and the same traits are used in everyday life. The most important thing about being an athlete in college is that you are considered a “student-athlete.” There is a reason that “student” comes before “athlete.” One has to be a dedicated student and work hard in the classroom to be able to play a sport for four years and to graduate with a degree that will allow him or her to do many things. Being both a student and an athlete at the same time requires a strong work ethic, discipline, and perseverance.
Even though I did not end up playing professional baseball for a living, being able to play college baseball helped me in many ways today. After graduating from college I was able to get a great job here at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. All of the life lessons that I touched on earlier that I learned through college and playing baseball, I cherish and still use every day in my life.