As a sophomore, Kate Benz chronicled her experiences with the Cougar basketball team during the 2004-05 season. In 2005-06, the junior forward from Portland, Ore. continues her accounts of life as a Cougar. Please visit wsucougars.com for future thoughts from Kate throughout the year.
November 21, 2005
"I'm just too busy."
Yes, it's true. As college students, we're all just too busy. However, try to imagine for a moment adding multiple hours of practice and strength training on top of your studies…and let's not neglect the extra curriculars.
Quite frequently, friends outside the athletic community ask me what an average day for a student-athlete is like. Let me take you into the competitive world of the WSU Athletic Department and give you a glimpse of the hectic lives of hoopsters.
Let's begin with academics. Each of us is required to take at least 12 credits. Many of us, however, take 15 or more. We get priority registration, which often frustrates non-athlete students, but what they often overlook is that we have to arrange our schedules around a block of time designated for practice.
Luckily this fall, we were fortunate to score a practice time in the afternoon. Last spring, on the other hand, we had weight training at 6:30 in the morning. Other sports such as swimming and rowing would scoff at this time. They're the real warriors, rising and shining before the sun. As women basketball players, we lift four days a week during the off-season, and now that we're in-season, we lift three days a week. Each day we focus on a different part of the body - legs, arms, and core. We spend less time in the weight room during the season than we do out of season; nonetheless, weight time is business time, and we focus on getting stronger in the impressive weight room in the Bohler Athletic Complex.
Following weights we head to either Beasley Coliseum or our new practice facility. We spend two and a half hours on the hardwood aiming to perfect our offense and defense. It's pretty intense, but we are so fortunate to have understanding coaches who recognize when our minds and bodies are worn down and who offer up comedic breaks frequently. There have been very few practices when Coach Murrell hasn't been tongue-tied, leaving not only us players, but the other coaches, trainers, and bystanders rolling on the floor.
Aside from the weights and practices, we are each scheduled to have meetings with our various coaches to discuss both basketball and non-basketball-related issues. This gives us a good chance to see our coaches and be seen in a different setting.
The realm of "different settings" is exactly where each of us spends what little down time we have. Some of us are involved in extra curricular activities such as service projects or student-athlete committees. Others have to clock hours in the department of their major. Whatever the case, we have to factor our schedules around our sport. When the clock strikes 7 p.m., we head out of practice and on to our next activity. With a busy day behind us, most of us want to just throw on some sweats and pop in a movie. Unfortunately, those types of days are few and far between. Keeping up on studies and spending a few minutes here and there with friends are the priorities that follow basketball.
It's true you might hear a complaint every now and again from one of us along the lines of "I'm just too busy." The difference between us and many other students is that we wouldn't change this for anything. We'd take the busy life over the boring life any day of the week.
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS