Balancing class and athletics can be challenging but good study habits make a big difference, softball pitcher Lauren Wernet said.
“We usually practice at least three times a day and it’s Monday through Friday. My guess is about 20 hours per week but usually we start playing games too,” said Wernet, a junior athletic training major.
Wernet is one more than a dozen Wesleyan athletes to make this year’s Dean’s List. Students must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher to make the list, according to txwes.edu.
The athletes have to balance practice and game schedules, off-season training, and he workload of a full-time student.
They say they do it through a combination of a good support system of family, friends and other athletes, as well as forming good study habits and time management skills.
Wernet and other athletes on the softball team, for example, usually have games on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but that schedule can change week to week, she said.
“If it’s a really good game it’s probably around three hours. If it’s kind of a blow out game it’s at least two hours,” Wernet said.
It can be difficult to get good grades because of missing class, she said. At the beginning of the season the team misses a few Thursdays and a Fridays because of the tournaments they play in. During conference play they miss at least a Tuesday and a Friday each week.
“I have friends in the program that help me out a lot. So, if I miss class they’re always there to pick me up with notes,” Wernet said.
Athletic training has very supportive faculty and they work well with students when they miss for athletics, Wernet said.
“Athletic training is good that. With athletic training, they have to be because you’re a part of the sports system. So, you work with the sports and it’s the same thing. It really helps when your teachers work with you a lot,” Wernet said.
Typically, softball players are expected to take at least 15 hours because head coach Susan Gower has high standards, Wernet said.
“I know that all the girls will attest that I’m always studying. I at least study three or four hours a night after practice. I don’t go to bed until around 11 o’clock,” Wernet said.
Wernet has made the Dean’s List three semesters in a row and she attributes that success to having a good support system and being proactive.
“I guess I just formed good study habits in high school which helped out a lot and knowing that I need to get something done instead of hanging out with my friends,” Wernet said.
It’s an important to set your priorities and make sure your school work is done before you hang out with friends, Wernet said.
“They [friends] know where you’re at with your education and that your education means a lot more than just other things in life. I think it’s just good study habits and just having good friends to push you,” Wernet said.
Baseball player Julio Ibarra said the team usually practices three hours a day six days a week and plays around three games a week.
“Every day I study around 1 or 2 hours a day because I like being ready before the next class. So basically, I review the content before going to class,” said Ibarra, a first baseman and junior athletic training major.
Ibarra takes around 16 hours a semester and must miss class almost every Friday due to away games.
“This is my first semester at Texas Wesleyan, but this is the first time I made [the Dean’s List]. I’ve been here for two semesters so hopefully I can get another one next semester,” Ibarra said.
Ibarra is from Venezuela and attended Pratt Community College in Kansas prior to coming to Wesleyan.
“I picked this school because after I finished my sophomore year at my junior college I had very good stats in baseball. I was trying to go to a good school that was good at baseball but at the same time trying to be in a school that offers my career,” Ibarra said.
It’s hard to keep good grades and perform well on the field at the same time because it’s hard to separate the two, Ibarra said.
“If you do bad in the field then you’re more likely to take that to your class,” Ibarra said. “Or backwards, if you do bad on the test and then you have a game the same day, you’ve got to be able to be tough and be able to change your mind very quick in order to be able to perform well.”
It’s challenging to maintain a high GPA and keep up with all the games and practices, he said.
“It is hard because you have to sacrifice a lot of your social time to be able to be on the Dean’s List. Especially when English is not your first language you’ve got to work harder than everybody else,” Ibarra said.
Ibarra is excited to attend Wesleyan because of the warm Texas weather and Wesleyan being a top-tier university.
“I was very blessed to find a school that has a very good athletic training program and that also has a good baseball program,” Ibarra said.
Soccer player Yohan Shirazi said he has to maintain his grades while playing at least three games and practicing up to 10 hours per week.
“During season, it depends on how many away games so we maybe [miss] three or four times a week,” said Shiraz, a junior exercise science major and center midfielder or center back.
Shirazi takes at least 13 hours a semester and he has made the Dean’s List five times.
“Outside of class I would say I study three or four hours outside of class a day so like 15 hours a week,” Shirazi said.
It is important to keep up with studying and homework while avoiding distractions, so studying in the library really helps, Shirazi said.
“On the buses bus trips you’ve always got to study. When I’m here I’ve got to stay up late nights. There’s a lot of distractions, obviously and you get really tired,” Shirazi said.