It’s difficult to understand the rigorous schedule, physical demand, emotional dedication, and mental toughness it takes to be a collegiate athlete. The schedule each student athlete must balance while trying to succeed in their sport is not for the faint of heart. Although each athlete and sports have different schedules, here is what a typical day in the life of a Utah State Eastern volleyball player could look like during their fall season.
The mornings are usually the most productive part of the day. Starting every day at six in the morning, each teammate must meet in the weight room for morning lift. No one can be late, or there are consequences. Typically, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are for lifting. The other weekdays consist of plyometric workouts and jump training. After the morning lift–which usually only takes around an hour–the team gets a break then goes in their separate ways. Some may go to the café and get breakfast, others have class or homework, some even go back to the dorms and sleep.
There is only a short break until practice is scheduled, so this gap is filled with whatever that athlete prioritizes. Some girls may even have a class during this gap in their schedule.
Official practice time is from 11:00 AM-1:30PM, but as a college athlete, it is expected of you to show up to the locker room at least 30 minutes before practice starts. During that half hour, there is a lot to get done. Some girls need treatment, therapy, taping, and everyone needs to get dressed and help set up the nets. All teammates and coaches expect each team player to be warmed up by the time that practice starts so that an efficient practice can be run.
After practice, most girls need therapy. During regular season and three-a-days, which are the first few weeks of routine, an ice bath was required of each athlete to help them recover and maintain their bodies to prevent injuries. Some have other therapy they must do such as bands, icing, getting scraped, etc. Once practice and rehab are taken care of, it is important for all athletes to eat big meals packed with protein. Eating healthy and making an emphasis to eat your body weight in grams of protein is essential for your body to repair and build new muscle.
After this part of the day is over, schedules vary from athlete to athlete, but most will shower and get ready for the day sometime around 4:00PM. Some have class—whether it’s in person or online–some are involved in extracurricular activities, and everyone occasionally attends campus events. However most people go to study hall to get their weekly, required hours checked off. Some nights there are team bonding activities or dinner, other times it’s film. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, your coach will take you out for dessert.
Although maintaining the schedule of being a collegiate athlete is tough, it’s very rewarding. Athletes don’t follow this schedule every day, and during season you are traveling every weekend. But this is a general idea of a day in the life of a USUE volleyball player who lives on campus.