Utah Tech Trailblazers live up to the student-athlete name

After another successful semester of fall sports, the academic cumulative GPA for the Athletic Department was 3.30. Brynlee Wade | Sun News Daily

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The Utah Tech University athletics teams fulfill their duties in their sport and in the classroom as they complete the fall 2022 semester with an overall GPA of 3.3.

Out of the 15 varsity sports, 14 had an overall GPA above 3.5.

Tied for the highest cumulative GPA, both the Utah Tech volleyball team and tennis team had an overall GPA of 3.68.

By the numbers: Cumulative team GPAs, by sport:

Women’s basketball: 3.61

Women’s soccer: 3.58

Women’s golf and swimming: 3.56

Softball: 3.55

Women’s cross-country: 3.54.

How do student-athletes balance the workload?

Rachel Mellor, a junior criminal justice major from Mandurah, Australia, competes with the women’s tennis team. Mellor said she does her best to use the time she has between classes to get her work done, so she can focus on performing well in her sport.

Part of balancing a student-athlete workload is finding the time outside of school, work and the sport to enjoy time with other activities.

Mellor said starting off on the right foot with professors helps with achieving good grades and staying on track.

“Professors and help from tutors is what helps me balance it,” Mellor said. “Show the professors that you care, then they’ll be more willing to help you.”

Mellor sets the goal to get her schoolwork done as soon as she gets it, so she has time to spend with friends or enjoy her other hobbies such as photography.

What helps student-athletes keep a healthy lifestyle?

A good portion of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a student-athlete is staying hydrated, maintaining energy, eating valuable meals and healing the body. Student-athletes say “it’s important to find the time to take care of their bodies while taking on the workload.”

Hannah Howard, a junior exercise science major from Bountiful, competes with the women’s volleyball team. Howard said she found some things that work best for her to maintain a healthy lifestyle while coping with the responsibilities of being a student-athlete.

At the beginning of 2023, Howard decided to try something new to work on staying energized and hydrated. Therefore, she began meal prepping to ensure she eats a good meal every day.

“I started this year meal prepping good foods like good protein, and it has helped me through playing volleyball, working out and doing school,” Howard said. “Just having that all ready helps with also knowing what I am putting in my body.”

What is the academic requirement for student-athletes?

At Utah Tech, the academic GPA requirement is set at 2.0; however, athletes and coaches like to set a higher standard. The women’s volleyball head coach Camilla Hafoka sets the bar high for her athletes.

“She cares a lot more about you in the long run because you are not just an athlete; you’re also living your life,” Howard said. “For our team, she sets a higher standard since we get pretty good grades already, so our rule is 3.5”

What keeps student-athletes motivated?

Motivation can be hard to obtain especially when the body is mentally and physically drained from hours of practice, competition and games. A positive concept to keep in mind when struggling to stay motivated is called the “4 M’s of Motivation.”

The four “M’s” stand for mission, move, momentum and mindset. All four objectives are helpful to keep in mind as a student-athlete to help with academic motivation, success and value.

Having a mission helps guide someone into what they want to accomplish. Missions can be set every semester or every year, depending on the person. Move is the next step to take action to move toward the goal the student athlete has determined. Momentum assists the mission with keeping on track to get to the goal or mission planned. Momentum consists of keeping a healthy schedule as well as staying caught up in classwork. The last step is mindset, this is the step where student-athletes are fully invested in themselves and their mission. In this step, they are on track to being motivated to succeed.

As the spring semester sets into motion, the Trailblazers will continue their significant work in the classroom and prepare or conclude for their athletic season.