Row a mile in my shoes

The life of a student athlete is not as easy as some may expect, especially on the Division II level. Don’t judge people until you have walked a mile — or, in this case, rowed a mile — in their shoes.

Kelly Scott, a junior athletic training major and member of the NSU women’s rowing team, shows just how hectic just a few days can be for a student athlete. She lay out step by step what a typical Thursday through Saturday is like.

Scott isn’t just a member of the rowing team; she is also apart of the Student Government Association as the vice president of Judicial Affairs and a member of the homecoming council. Even without counting her classes, she has a busy schedule.

Thursdays are land practices for the rowing team. Scott’s day begins at 5:30 a.m. when she wakes up and makes her way to the pit in the Don Taft University Center. Practice begins at 6 a.m. when the Recreational Complex opens.

The team begins with dynamic warm-ups, consisting of multiple stretches, to prepare for the practice ahead. Zevon Stubblefield, assistant athletic director of sports medicine, leads the team through the beginning of practice. Once the warm up is complete, the team moves to the ergometers where they go through another 15-minute warm up before Head Coach Stephen Frazier-Wong hands out the workout itinerary and their practice session lasts until 8 a.m. After practice, the team does a quick cool down that consists of tretching to bring down their heart rates.

“As a team, we keep improving,” said Scott.

After practice, Scott has a couple hours to relax and grab breakfast before she needs to arrive at her next commitment: strength and conditioning from 11 a.m. to noon. Kyle Morris, graduate assistant for strength and conditioning, leads the team in two groups through the workout, which takes place at the Athletics and Business Services Building.

Once Scott and her teammates have finished strength and conditioning, it’s time for her to go to class. As an athletic training major, Scott is required to complete rotation hours at Nova High School. She completes four of these hours after class and stays at the school until 7 p.m.

The next day, Scott wakes up at 4:45 a.m. and leaves her residence hall by 5:05 for practice on the water. She must arrive at the boathouse by no later than 5:35 a.m. Water practices are much more demanding of the team than the practices on land. After arriving at the boat house, the team must set up all the equipment for that day. This includes getting the launches ready, which is the boat the coaches ride in, by bringing it down to the water and fastening the motor to it. The team carries the launches to the water and then heads back to grab the oars that will be needed for that practice. Once they bring the oars down to the water, they head up to the trailer to get the boats down and to the water.

“We have a system, so it works out well,” said Scott.

After all the boats are set up, the team begins by doing dynamic warm ups. The coach then hands out the lineups for that day, if he hasn’t already emailed them to the team. Practice on the water consists of doing timed sessions of what the coach feels they need to work on or prepare for that day. Scott is normally off the water by 7:45 a.m., and then the team needs to take apart the boats and wash them down before storing them for the next time. Scott arrives back at school by about 8:20 when the team gets together and stretches for 20 to 30 minutes.

The next hour is Scott’s only down time on a busy Friday. She eats breakfast and gets ready from her class that runs from 10 a.m. until noon. After class, Scott makes her way over to the SGA office where she logs in two hours of work. At 2 p.m. on every Friday, she then has a homecoming council meeting, which only lasts an hour. She concludes her Friday night by completing six more rotation hours at Nova High School.

Saturday is the day for races, when all the hard work for the week pays off. Scott prepares for the races the same way every time; she awakes about an hour before the race, between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. to eat breakfast, pack her bag and head to the water with the rest of her team.

The life of a student athlete is nonstop while in season. From the moment Scott opens her eyes in the morning until the time she closes them at night, she is constantly on the move fulfilling all her duties and responsibilities of both her team and school. Student athletes are more than just the sport they play.

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