I initially came to Concordia for one reason: to play baseball. Sure, I knew that attending Concordia would provide me with many great opportunities and would open many doors. But I thought that I was here to play ball and the whole “school” thing would have to come second.

I learned very quickly that being a student-athlete is exactly what it sounds like: student first and athlete second. I was intimidated but, knowing about all the resources I had to succeed on campus, I was ready for the challenge.

I found that at Concordia it’s very easy to find a balance between schoolwork and sports. It’s no secret that being a student-athlete in college is a huge commitment, but my coaches understand the importance of putting academics first and always push me to reach my potential in the classroom before I get to practice. The same goes for my professors. They understand the value and the commitment it takes to play a college sport and are often very willing to work with my baseball schedule. Whether it’s a long road trip or a weekday game, they’re usually very open to allowing baseball to fit into my coursework.

When you play a sport at Concordia, your team becomes like your family. Each of your teammates becomes an extension of yourself and push you to be your best. It’s no different in the classroom, as I’ve spent many evenings doing homework and studying with my teammates. The friendships I have made on the field with my teammates are friendships that I know will last a lifetime, which makes Concordia athletics a unique experience.

One thing is always true: everyone here wants you to succeed. From the coaches and professors to your teammates and friends, everyone pushes you to be the best student, player and teammate you can be. Yes, it can be difficult at times to manage studying for a test or finishing an assignment late at night when you get done with practice or a game, and it can be difficult to show up to the gym or field every day after a big test or after finishing a big paper. But that is what being an athlete is all about – being tough and working hard to put yourself in the best position to succeed. At Concordia, that is very possible.

Published January 2018