Utah Tech University’s Division I athletes work hard to balance their daily lives, school and sports and were recognized April 6 for National Student-Athlete day.
National Student Athlete day is to acknowledge and appreciate high school and college student athletes who go above and beyond in sports, academics and in the community. This day ensures student athletes’ hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.
The university’s swim team is in season and competing. Mandy Farnum, a sophomore marketing major from Tucson, Arizona, talked about her double practice day schedule on the team.
Farnum said: “In the morning, we will do an hour and a half of practicing and then two hours in the afternoon. After that, we lift weights for another hour.”
Attlyn Johnston, a sophomore recreation and sports management major from Tooele, currently plays on Utah Tech’s softball team. She said her and her team have practice four days a week, then two game days and one off day.
Johnston said: “As a DI athlete, I am challenged mentally and physically everyday. Sometimes it’s a lot more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge. Everyday is a new opportunity to get better. I also enjoy competing at this high of a level with some of my best friends.”
Utah Tech became a DI school for athletics in 2020. This raised the bar for athletes who want to be on the team, making it tougher to be on it. DI schools are known for having the best athletic programs and competing against other schools that are DI.
“I like that I am proud to be DI athlete and that there is a whole community. Everyone is proud to be here,” said swimmer Skyler Lyon, a junior marketing major from Riverton. “It’s rewarding and something I like to say.”
Student athletes have more to do than just play a sport. They have to maintain a certain GPA, attend practices, complete homework and enjoy their social life. There are many life lessons that can be learned while participating in school competitive sports.
Johnston said: “Not everything is always in my control, and that’s OK. When something happens, I have to do my best to acknowledge it, reassess, look at a plan and learn from it, rather than just disregarding it. Everyday is going to be different.”
Farnum said: “Don’t stress out, we’ve all been in your shoes, it’s going to be OK. Freshman year is hard, but you’ll get through it and there are people here who support you and want you to succeed.”
It is important to let student athletes know that they are valued for the time and effort they put into competing in their sport.