5 Tips to Survive a Road Trip

Every student athlete spends a good amount of time on the road. From traveling to games or matches to traveling home over the holidays, we have to learn how to have fun on car trips. So, this post will consist of 10 tips I have learned over the years to making the most of road trips.

1. Bring a comfy pillow.

 

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The first and, in my opinion, the most important tip to having a successful and enjoyable car trip is to bring a comfy pillow. No matter how uncomfortable you think you will be, if you bring your favorite comfy pillow with you, it will be a lot more enjoyable.

2. Have your favorite snacks.

 

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On long road trips, you are bound to get hungry at some point and the chances of the driver stopping at the place you want to eat is slim. The best way to make sure your tummy stays satisfied is to pack your own bag of your favorite snacks. That way you never have to worry about where the driver stops.

3. Have your favorite playlist and headphones ready.

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When you’re on the road the radio signal will go in and out and you will constantly have to change the station to find music you are interested in. If you bring your iPhone or iPod you will have your favorite music ready to go at any time you want.

4. BRING A PHONE CHARGER.

 

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One of the most important tips is to have your phone charger with you and ready when you need it. With long trips you are bound to run out of charge and since you need your phone to listen to music, if you have your charger ready, you will always be ready.

5. Bring a blanket

 

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On most road trips the driver with set the thermostat to a colder temperature so the bus or van will not get stuffy. This usually results in you freezing. So, bring a blanket to bundle up in when you are shivering in the bus seat.

Below are some pictures from a couple of bus trips I have been on in the last few years with the tennis team.

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A weekend off

Weekends off come very few and far between for student athletes, but when we get one it is amazing. We either watch Netflix and sleep or we travel and try to have a typical college experience. This semester I have had two weekends off, both of which I have really enjoyed.

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The first weekend I had off this semester, I spent with my boyfriend, Tom, hiking and enjoying a gorgeous day. We hiked up to Benton Falls, stopping
at several overlooks where we really enjoyed the spectacular views. With me on tIMG_7763 (1).jpghe tennis team and him on the soccer team, we rarely get to go out and do things besides our sports. So, when we realized we both had a weekend off we took an adventure.

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The second weekend I had off was this past weekend. We took this time to travel to South Carolina to visit my grandparents. I never get time to visit them because I am so busy with my sport and school, but this past weekend Tom and I took a five-hour road trip to visit.

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The weekend started out very early on Saturday morning when my grandfather took us out to the range to shoot guns. He has participated in cowboy action shooting for years and has hundreds of guns. He has been taking me out to the range since I was a little kid. I love going out and shooting at targets. It was so great to get out and do something that I never get to do anymore.

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The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing around the house, watching movies in 3D, and decorating sugar cookies. It was so much fun to just get away from the normal routine, visit with family, and enjoy some time resting.

A weekend off is a lovely thing when you never get a break. Athletes, hang in there and wait for those weekends off! They are wonderful and really worth the wait! Stay strong!

 

6 Ways to Manage Your Overwhelming Pile of Dirty Laundry

Well hello again! This week’s post is something that I know every student athlete struggles with, but I think everyone in general will be able to relate to. Every week your list piles up of things you have to do or what you need to get done. As the schoolwork and stress piles up, so does your dirty laundry. It seems like such a hassle to sort through your dirty clothes, wash them, then dry them and then…. the worst of all, having to fold them all and put them away.

So, this week I am going to give you 7 ways to manage that overwhelming mountain of laundry staring at you and saying that you will never have clean clothes again!

Dirty Laundry

  1. Don’t try to do it all at once

Your clothes aren’t going to run away. If you put them in the washer you don’t have to take them out immediately, you’ve got a little bit of time. Put your first load in the washer before you go to practice, when you get home switch that load to the dryer and put the next load in the washer while you’re making dinner. This way you don’t have to just wait around for them; you can be washing your clothes while practicing.

  1. Have your roommate help you out

Be smart and become close with the people you live with. I made the very wise decision of rooming with one of my best friends. Now, whenever I am running late to class and I forget to move my laundry to the dryer… I am a simple text away from having it moved for me.

  1. Pick a day and plan to do laundry that day every week

What’s the lightest day of your week? Pick that day and plan to do all of your laundry on that day every week. It is a lot easier if you have a scheduled laundry day. It also helps planning your outfits for the week if you know when you are going to have all of your clothes clean again.

  1. Make sure your laundry day is not the same as your roommates’

It is quite a struggle when you have planned to do laundry then you go to put your first load in and your roommate’s clothes are just started to get clean. To make things easier, just tell your roommate what day you plan to do laundry so you can avoid this horrible inconvenience.

  1. Fold your clothes immediately

This is one of the most important ways to manage that pile of laundry. I am the worst at this but it is extremely helpful. It is a very simple concept but harder to accomplish. All you have to do is fold your clothes immediately when you take them out of the dryer. Then you’re done. You can relax and enjoy your clean clothes.

  1. Always have a back up outfit (just in case)

Okay, let’s be real, there are always those weeks where you simply don’t have time or you just forget to do your laundry. It’s never a bad idea to have a spare outfit just in case.

Well, I hope these are helpful for you as you try to manage all of your dirty clothes.

Until next time,

Stay strong and keep working hard, athletes,

Morgan

3 Ways to Keep the Bad Days Away

If you have ever had a bad practice, game, or just a bad day, then you are in need to keep reading. Most of the time, when you have a bad day it is because you let everything around you get to you and you lose focus on the task at hand. There is something else going on around you that is distracting you and pulling your focus, even if it is subconscious. Has that ever happened to you? Well, you are not the only one. It happens to everyone. Especially athletes. The good news is there are 3 ways to keep those bad days to a minimum and to keep you enjoying your sport and your college experience.

  1. Have a vision

Proverbs 29:18 says,

“Without vision the people perish.”

VisionIf you do not have a vision, you will never be able to succeed. We play our sport throughout elementary school, then middle school, then high school, college and a lot of us are looking to make a career out of it. For the majority of our life we define ourselves as athletes. But what is the vision behind that? Why are you playing the sport you do? What do you want to achieve by playing your sport in college?

Come up with your vision for the experience you want to have as a student athlete in college. Write it down and don’t forget about it.

  1. Fight for your dream

Corinthians 9:24-27 says,

“Do you not know that in a race alKeep Calml the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do i
t to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for t
he prize.”

Strike a blow to your body and make it your slave. Run the race with everything you’ve got. Remember that vision and don’t quit. Fight hard for it. No matter what has happened throughout the day or what assignment you have due tomorrow, when you step on that court/field/track you have to mentally make your body a slave to yourself and fight for what you believe in.

3. Consider it Joy

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because
you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

With a simple change of perspective everything is different. If you consider everything a joy, you will greatly decrease your number of bad days. With this simple change, considering the trials a joy, everything you do becomes better. You are happier and your body will respond better if something bad does happy. But, the best part is that you are being stronger and it will make your time in the match or game worth so much more because nothing with be able to get you down. You will rise up and become victorious.

I hope you have been inspired to change your perspective so your bad days get less and less. Remember to have a vision, fight for your dreams, and consider it joy!

Ready… break!

Time. What is that?

Time. Time is constant motion. Time is nonstop. Time is never ending. There is always more time. Yet, in the life of a NCAA student athlete there never seems to be enough of it. I blink and a week has gone by. What did I actually accomplish in that time? How did I get everything done? Did I get everything done?

The key to survival for student athletes is learning how to manage your time, because to be honest, it will always feel like there is not enough of it. You would think that it is important that we play well, train well or are super in shape, but no. That is a very important aspect of what we do in college but time management is one of the most important skills a student athlete has to learn and it is one of the hardest to achieve. Playing our sport, that’s the fun part.

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So how do we do it? How do we juggle classes, practice, homework, team meetings, food, sleep and anything else that a day could consist of? The key to success is to know how to prioritize. We have to prioritize what to do first and what is most important immediately. But, we also have to know when to stop and when to focus on other things. I do this by making a lot of lists. I have notes to myself everywhere reminding me of what I need to do.

Last week, for example, I had practice everyday, three big exams, four papers, an athletic meeting, and all of my normal classes. I started the week with no idea how I was going to survive or make it through with good grades AND my sanity. But I did. How did that happen?

Over my four years at Lee University I have learned how to prioritize and put the most important things first and accept the fact that I cannot do everything. This was a very hard concept for me to accept. I like to believe I have superpowers and can accomplish anything and everything, but time will not allow that. So, instead I have to accept that everything does not have to be done right away. Some things CAN be pushed off to the next day.

We also, kind of, get over the idea of having a social life, because, again, there is not enough time in the day. That goes back to learning how to prioritize. People are important, but at this point in our lives, grades and our sports are the top priorities. Because of that, our team becomes our family and our closest friends. They are the only ones who understand what we are going through and they go through it with us. Below is just to give you the idea that we (student-athletes) do still have fun! It’s just with our teammates!

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Last week I studied for my exams in order of the ones I had to take first and wrote my papers in all the spare time I could find. Normally I would hate to write half of a paper and finish it another day, but that is just how it goes in the life of a student athlete. At the end of the day, there are only 24 hours. It is definitely not easy, but in the end it is worth it.

So, if you’re a student athlete out there wondering how on earth you will get everything done… I would like to encourage you that you can do it! It is not easy, and sometimes not fun, but you can do it! Just remember to prioritize your time and take everything one step at a time. You got this!

Thanks for reading,

Morgan