Kicking Around The Decision To Play Sports In College


Salah Ali, Staff Writer

Want to continue sports in college?

Senior athletes often find themselves wrestling with the decision to continue on with their sport in college. Can I handle the practices and the classwork? What will my social life look like?  Is it worth it?The questions swirling in their minds can seem endless.

One Elkhart graduate who decided to continue sports in college is Kortney Buckley, who is now a junior at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in Terre Haute. In addition to being on the soccer team, Buckley also completes as a runner and javelin thrower in track. She shares a bit on her experiences. “Going into college athletics, I was most looking forward to the relationships I was going to build with my teammates and coaches.” Buckley goes on to say, “The past three years have not been disappointing, as I have been privileged to meet some of the most incredible people.” Her positive experience may prove inspiring to EHS seniors considering the same route.  

Something every student should know going into college athletics is what to expect from college sports. “My initial expectations were that college athletics were going to be a ton of hard work and require an immense amount of time.” Buckley continues to add, “Although this expectation has proven to be true, it is a much more uplifting environment than I originally anticipated.” Hearing this might also be a relief to some senior athletes. However, there are still other relevant considerations. “I discovered there are more requirements than just practice and competition,” Buckley cautions. “There’s weights, rehabilitation, tutoring, study tables, volunteering, meetings, and recruiting.” Buckley provides a further explanation saying, “These activities, though, help the betterment of the team and build a bond between the teammates.”

One of the most important parts–if not the most important part–of college athletics is the actual transition. Buckley comments saying, “A lot more responsibility is put on you, and it is vital to utilize the free time that you do have to the important aspects of being a collegiate athlete.” She clarifies this, saying, “…things like your recovery and studies. Moreover, the biggest change was being so far from home, and the changes that come along with it: being in charge of your own meals, sleep schedule, and being on time to class and practices.”

Overall, Buckley encourages athletes contemplating whether to continue their sport in college to investigate it in order to weigh the pros and cons for them personally. For her, it was a decision she does not regret making. “College athletics has given me my best friends, opened the door to an abundance of opportunities for my future, and has given me important lessons learned!”