College can be a time-consuming task. With all the classes you take, homework and studying required outside the classroom, it can sometimes feel like there is no room for anything else. Add being an NCAA athlete to the mix, and college can really be a struggle.
For Maureen Truett, a freshman member of the Piedmont Women’s Tennis Team, said coming from high school to college was a big adjustment.
“It can be nerve racking going to a new place where you do not know anyone,” she said. “But the team and coaches were very welcoming and made me feel at home.”
One of the biggest changes she endured was going from barely having to study to working on one subject at least 3-4 hours a day. The coaches expect a lot out of their players.
“The big key for our players juggling school and tennis is communication,” said assistant coach Trey Martin. “We expect them to be on the court as much as possible and succeed in the classroom as well. We put that on the players to tell us a few days in advance when they have an academic issue and help provide a solution to their problem. That is the key to maintain the juggling act between athletics and academics.”
“Our coaches have us do study hall four hours out of the week,” Truett said. “That really helps me to stay on track of what to get done and prepare for my upcoming tests or quizzes, and if we do not do the study hall we have to run. So, you can say not a lot of us ever miss those hours.”
The team travels a lot during their season, so they do miss class from time to time.
“If we miss something, it is up to us to get it made up and figure out ways to get what we missed,” Truett said. “All of my professors are very understanding, though, and help me whenever I need it, whether that’s meeting with me one-on-one or letting me take my tests at different times in case I’ve missed one.”
Despite its difficulties, being a college athlete definitely has its perks. Free gear, free trips and free food are among the benefits. Truett’s favorite thing about being a part of the tennis team is her relationship with her team.
“I love my teammates,” she said. “They make trips so much fun, whether they’re watching movies on the bus or hanging out in the hotel rooms playing card games.”
Freshman Kara Landsiedel agrees with Truett. “My favorite thing is getting close to my teammates and playing the sport that I have grown up with.”
Truett works hard to maintain a lifestyle that involves hanging out with her friends.
“It does not really matter what me and my friends are doing,” she said. “As long as we are all doing it together, we are going to have fun no matter what.”