Tips for Surviving Student-Athlete Life at Wellesley

On Dealing with Academics…

Sometimes it can get a little challenging to balance academics on top of your busy tennis schedule. Here are a few tips to help make that challenge a little easier!

If you know you will be absent from a class for tennis, email your professor 1.5 weeks in advance. If you know that you will be missing an exam/midterm/presentation, email your professor at least 2 weeks in advance. Often times professors are still creating the exam a week or less before the exam date, so letting them know ahead of time that you won’t be free to come to class gives them greater flexibility for preparing. Here’s an example of an email that you could send:

Dear Professor _______________,

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend class on [date] due to my commitment to represent Wellesley at a varsity [your sport] game/match/tournament. I will be sure to acquire notes from a classmate, otherwise, would it be possible for me to reach out to you with any questions? Best, [Your Name]

When you find yourself struggling in a class, try to arrange to meet with your professor during office hours or a scheduled appointment. Professors will really appreciate your taking interest in their course and will remember the extra effort you’ve made. Not only will this help you understand the material better, but doing so also tends to improve your participation grade. If you find that you’re crunched for time and can’t make it to your professors’ office, most are responsive via email. Some professors will also schedule class study session prior to exams, so be on the lookout for those!

Remember: You're a student before you're an athlete. Pick your classes with your academics in mind. If you're struggling academically, let your coach know.

On Dealing with the Athletic Training Room/Lifting/Front Desk Staff...

The staff in the ATR (Niki, Jenae and Tim) and the lifting staff (Becky, Tim, Meg and Shelby) are all INCREDIBLE people. They are part of your team and are vital to your improvement and competing. As such, it is important that we treat them with the respect they deserve!

If something isn’t feeling right physically (eg. a strain, soreness, an injury), take a trip to the ATR and speak with one of the main trainers there. Everyone in the ATR is really good about making sure that you get the treatment that you need depending on what your ailment may be. If something is wrong, the ATR staff will be able to tell you. Some coaches also routinely check in with the ATR staff and so if you need to take a break from practicing, they are often the ones that will relay that message to your coach. That being said every coach’s injury/rehab policy is different, so be sure to check in with your coach to see if they prefer team members to relay ATR updates or if they prefer hearing from the trainers.

If you’ve scheduled to come into the ATR for treatment/rehab, make sure you go. It’s respectful of their time if you turn up for your appointment. They’re busy people with crazy hours who are here for us!

Likewise, if someone in the ATR tells you to check in after practice, check in after practice. There are certain treatments they can only do after practice (eg. icing), so it’s important to remember to make the extra trip to their office before you leave. They will also make note of how your progress is going so if you need to come in again before a practice or during the day, they can help you schedule that.

Keep Kathy/the front desk staff happy! You can do this by: Returning uniforms after games, keeping track of your laundry loop and other gear leant to you for the season and not putting underwear or non-sportswear on the laundry loop. Saying a quick hello can also go a long way.

But most of all…

Have fun. For most of us, this will be the last time playing competitive sports before entering the post-college world. Enjoy every moment. Go Blue!"