15 Hour Drive for 2 Minutes and 10 Seconds

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It’s true. We are THOSE parents and darn proud of it!

I have always been fascinated by the parents of student athletes and now that I am one of them I understand so much more. Many of the coaches I work with tell me about the wonderful things their parents do for the program and believe me, most of them are not sexy…just a great way for them to save money and to save time.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a Canisius College Women’s Soccer game on the campus of Fairfield University. We arrived on campus Friday evening to attend his swim meet at the University of Connecticut the next day. This was the first time a Canisius event occurred on campus while I was there for a swim meet since my son started there in 2008.

Decked out in my Canisius College Athletics jacket, I found the visitors section by listening for the cheers from their hale hearty fans. I would venture a guess that the entirety of the visitors section had some sort of DNA match with someone on the field.

I introduced myself as a member of the Canisius athletic staff and enjoyed meeting nice folks who share the student athlete parent bond. We talked about the competition in the conference and the frequency of the games. We compared notes on distance traveled and they commended me for traveling so far each week for our son’s meets.

My favorite conversation was with a mom who wanted to let me know how much easier it was to be the parent of a swimmer rather than one of an outdoor sport. She supposed it was much easier to sit in a natatorium than to battle the elements. She thought it more comfortable to be indoors and while she is mostly correct she does not understand how oppressive the heat can be in a pool. When you are cold you can add layers but when you are in the pool and sweating from the high heat and humidity you cannot take off your skin.

My answer was simple. I gave her the weather issue and agreed we have it easier to be indoors. But I left her with a thought. If their child was a starter or even a top layer substitute they watched them play for 1-1 ½ hours in a game that lasts about 2 hours total start to finish. But with swimming you could attend a meet which lasts 3-4 hours (including diving but that’s another blog) and your child could potentially compete less than a minute if they are a sprinter. Whoosh, they are done!

If this seems like complaining, I’m not. Actually I’m honored to be able to attend so many meets and grateful for the time and means to do it.

This week it will be at least 20 hours…but he may swim a longer event so maybe it will be 4 ½ minutes!

Life is good!

Jude

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie

Facebook: Jude TheFoodie

JudeTheFoodie.com

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Don’t You Dare Say “It’s Only Division III”

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Being a college athlete is a big deal.  There are only about 400,000 NCAA student athletes out of nearly 8,000,000 college students across the country.

I just read a very interesting press release http://bit.ly/c7SRyv posted on the website of the National Federation of State High School Associations titled “High School Sports Participation Tops 7.6 Million, Sets Record.”  Think about this: 55.1% of high school students participated in athletics last year – more than 1 in 2 students had a coach, had to juggle academics and athletics and had to learn what it was like to lose.

What struck me, though, is that when you look at these raw numbers still fewer than 5% of these student athletes participate in college sports in one of the three NCAA (www.ncaa.com) divisions.  Even if you assume that half of them participate in two sports and one quarter of them participate in three sports that percentage only goes up to 8%.

Not every student athlete wants to compete at the BCS Division I level.  Many of them know they need to concentrate on their studies to get them into graduate school or into the workforce.  Athletics, to them, is a way to round out their college experience.  My son is a Division I student athlete who gets no money to compete in the pool – his scholarship money (full tuition) comes from academic sources.

Parents, as you help your high school student athlete look for colleges, keep mid-major schools on their radar.  They have the greatest percentage opportunity to combine academics and athletics for a fantastic college experience.

Life is good!

Jude

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie

Facebook: Jude The Foodie

JudeTheFoodie.com

Evolution of a Student Athlete

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In the beginning…

There was a parent teaching a child.

 

They learned to read.

Later the teacher was called a coach.

They studied.

They tried lots of different sports.  

 They studied more.

Teams became more organized.

 They continued studying.

They had to choose one specialty sport.

 They took standardized tests.

They had to practice at all hours of the day.

 They applied to college.

They selected their college. 

 They made a team!

Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy!

Life is good!

Jude

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie

St. Peter Canisius, Pray for Us!

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Tonight at 7:00pm at Christ the King Chapel, the center of the campus at Canisius College, the student athletes, coaches and staff will gather for a Mass and convocation.  I have the honor of cantering this Mass and it is a great reminder for me that we are not just an institution of higher learning; we are a Roman Catholic institution complete with the identity of Jesuit education.  Please click here http://www.canisius.edu/jesuit/ for more insight into what it means for us to continue the Jesuit mission.

When my son was a freshman at Canisius High School he had to do research about St. Ignatius of Loyola.  While he complained about the need to learn about the founder of the Society of Jesus, he took the name Ignatius as his confirmation name (although his dad and I suspect it was because he already had the research done).  In 2007 I had the honor to kiss the ground, in a Roman rectory, where St. Ignatius died.  In that same church was a statue of St. Peter Canisius, the patron saint of our school.

The Society of Jesus “is also said to have been the first order to undertake officially and by virtue of its constitutions active works such as the education of youth of all classes.” (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07639c.htm).  The 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States are testimony of the mission.

After the Mass tonight the SA’s will listen to various speakers and take head shots for all media publications.  They will be reminded that as a student athlete they have a higher standard they must uphold because where privilege is given also comes great responsibility.  They will fidget in their seats, uncomfortable with the message and probably be a little bored, as well.  I only hope they someday appreciate how special their experience was and uniquely Jesuit.

St. Peter Canisius, Pray for Us!

Life is good!

Jude

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie

Twitter: JudeCaserta