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Why College Athletes Have To Sacrifice For Success (Again)

Katharine Lotze / Staff

What are you willing to give up to get what you do not have?

Sacrifices are essential to getting ahead in life. As an avid sports fan and culture enthusiast, I often struggle with allocating my time. I want to write books, travel the world, and watch all the NBA playoff games, play with my puppy, try the new taco spots and listen to as much new music that my air pods can handle.

But when should I carve out ‘me’ time? Time when I can build something, read something or simply meditate and focus on self-care. The uphill battle of realizing you don’t need to see every new movie, watch every reality show or listen to every podcast is a never-ending struggle in the day that social media runs the world.

The best way to work on your craft and still have a life is to indulge in moderation.

The best way to work on your craft and still have a life is to indulge in moderation. Set aside time to work on your story, app, website, restaurant idea or whatever it is that you are trying to create. If you have an influx of ideas, make sure you jot them down and place them somewhere you can view daily.

Also realize that you are not going to save the world in one day, but what you can do is chip away by spending time consistently on your craft. If you want to read a book every month, don’t set unrealistic goals such as 60 pages a day, instead set aside 20 minutes a day to read. If you’re writing a book, have a number of lines you wish to write per day and stick to the plan. Planning is key. Along with planning, the aspect of being consistent is essential to being successful. Sure you may have to miss out on an episode of Game of Thrones or that new brewery that just popped up, but that’s when you have to prioritize and see what it is that you value.

As a former athlete, I like to look back on my days as a basketball player and how I would allocate my time to getting better on the court. Sure there were times when I would kick my feet up and watch every episode of The Office, but then I would reflect and think to myself, “There is someone out there that is working harder than you.” Even if you are in competition with just yourself, you still need to use your time wisely. I recall times of having to tell friends no because I had to put in extra time in the weight room, classroom or go to the training room to get some therapy for whatever ailment I had at the time.

You have to carve out time for whatever it is that drives you. There are several questions you should ask yourself when you’re considering allocating time to your craft vs. an activity that may take its time slot.

  • Is this going to help in the short run?
  • What am I learning from engaging in this activity?
  • Can I do this activity at another time?
  • Have I already participated in this activity before?   

If you answer no to any of the questions listed above then you may need to take a step back and re-prioritize. Just as in baseball when a player is at bat and tilts their bat in attempt a bunt, they are sacrificing their potential to get on base to possibly get a run. A sacrifice is something given up for a better cause. Once you find your cause, what are you willing to give up in order to succeed? 

Layden Williams is a former collegiate basketball player at Catawba College. After his playing days were over, Layden earned his MBA and currently resides in Charlotte, NC where he is an up-and-coming author and compliance professional in the banking industry. Connect with him on Twitter and Instagram.