Reflections of a Student Athlete

by · February 23, 2017

Last week, Knight Life interviewed Women’s Basketball captain Jessica Rini. This week, we will hear from the team’s other captain, Janae Graham, about what what it’s like to be a student athlete here at the Mount.

Hi! My name is Janae Graham, and I play women’s basketball, one of the 21 NCAA Division III sports offered at Mount Saint Mary College. It is a game of commitment, communication, and precision. Basketball helps me clear my mind and let out any built-up stress that comes from being a college student. To me, there is nothing more soothing than the sounds of a basketball bouncing in an empty gym and a perfect shot swishing through the net. Whenever I step on the court, I am instantly able to clear my mind and put anything that I am personally struggling with behind me.

My favorite moment of playing for the Mount thus far has got to be stepping on the court for my first game freshman year. There I was, finally wearing the MSMC uniform, my proud parents in the stands, and four years of potential standing ahead of me. I felt like all my dreams had come true; I had been dreaming about playing basketball in college since I started playing back in third grade.

My advice to high school athletes would be to be confident; don’t be arrogant, but know your worth. There is nothing more attractive to a potential coach or school than confidence. Take the initiative and reach out to as many coaches as you can. Email them, call them, or send them your film. All you need is one coach to take the time and realize he or she could need you.

As a student athlete, one of the most important parts of success is time management. If you try to be a full time student and play a college sport without planning out your time, you will struggle. I stay organized by keeping a planner. Each week, I map out a general idea of what I need and want to get done each day. Then each day, I specifically map out what I am going to do and at what time.

A typical weekday for me consists of waking up, going to class, grabbing a meal on the go, running to practice, and then doing homework before falling into bed. When it’s a game day, I am even busier, traveling and prepping for the game. When I want to unwind, I usually will take some time to read my Bible, journal, or paint. Being a student athlete takes a lot of discipline, but in the end, all the effort is so worth it.

When I graduate, I plan to attend a physical therapy graduate program, and eventually open my own physical therapy practice. I believe that being a student athlete at the Mount has definitely helped prepare me for the future. Basketball has taught me how to work with others to achieve a common goal, how to manage my time, and how to be a leader.

___________________________________________________________________________

Janae Graham, Class of 2018, is a biology/physical therapy student from Orange, CT. She is a captain of the Women’s Basketball team, and she plays guard.