10A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 9, 2001
to balance sc ool,
hey blend into the University
as Well as anyone and you
may have sat next to one in
your last class. You might hump into
o a at a party this weekend. One
might even live next door to you.
Ahough they spend two to three
hours each day at practice and travel
on the weekends during their
seasons, University athletes are no
different from the rest of the student
community. They carry the same
books, eat in the same places and
study at the same libraries.
LSA sophomore and water polo player
Stephanie Moore said a sport is no different
from any other activity at the University.
"Playing a sport is just another thing you
add to your life to balance. To be an athlete
you have to be very disciplined as far as your
studies and sleeping and socially," Moore said.
Kinesiology freshman and crew member
Heather Mandoli said playing her sport is like
"We live normal lives - it's kind of like
having a job, but it's a fun job. It's just another
element," Mandoli said.
Choosing the Maize and Blue
Some student athletes come to the Universi-
ty having trained to play a varsity sport, while
other students join University sports teams on
a whim. Mandoli said she came to the Univer-
sity to row, but she said her degree was also a
"It (the University) looked like it had a lot
of potential to be the best in the country for
me. It wasn't just a university that I couldn't
use the degree from," Mandoli said.
She added that financial aid was also a con-
"It's a school I wouldn't have gone to with-
out the scholarship," Mandoli said.
Moore said she chose to attend the Universi-
ty because of the variety of programs of study.
"I knew I was going to play polo, but I defi-
nitely came for academics," Moore said.
LSA junior and crew member Christina
Meyer came to the University for academics,
but walked onto the team her freshman year.
By the end of that year, Meyer's coaches
recognized her as a freshman who had worked
hard and improved immensely. She was put on
a partial scholarship her sophomore year and
is now on a full scholarship.
Engineering freshman and gymnast Chris
Gatti said gymnastics and the University's
College of Engineering played equal roles in
his decision to attend the University.
"Michigan has a superior engineering
department," Gatti said.
Fueling, the fire
Student athletes get their motivation from
many places but most agree they find the
greatest amount of encouragement from their
Meyer said that while she is at her early
morning practices, thinking about what she
will achieve from the hard work is enough to
keep her going.
"The more you put in, the more benefits you
see when you get on the water," Meyer said.
She said she is inspired by her teammates
and their ability to get the most done when
they work together.
"The coaches and athletes are here to help
Engineering junior Julie Brescoll, engineering sophomore Liz Nelson and kinesiology junior Jenny Bryant eat dinner together in their house. The
three girls are on the University crew team together.
everyone reach their potential." She said what
keeps her going to practice is "knowing that
.my teammates are there, knowing that the rac-
ing season is coming up. We do a lot of hang-
ing out after practice and eating together,"
Gatti said that going to practice daily can
"I just work through it whenever I'm sick of
it. I look forward to the good days to come,"
Gatti added, "Having the team behind me is
new to me." He said the University gymnastics
team is much closer than other teams he's been
a part of.
Through positive competition on her water
polo team and self determination, Moore said
she finds her way to the pool every afternoon.
"My parents push me to keep me going, but
I know that I can discipline myself," Moore
said. "There's definitely competition. It's not
that bad, but there's always that part of you
that makes you keep going."
Mandoli said having her roommate, a fellow
crew member, waking up at the same time she
does makes getting up early in the morning
"We're all in it together. It would be differ-
ent if I was the only one up at that time. Once
you're on the"water, it's a great feeling to be
rowing," Mandoli said.
Kinesiology sophomore and soccer player
Joey Iding said he strives for success and
being a part of tradition.
"I want the team to succeed. Personally, I
want to improve to play professionally. Just
being able to wear the Michigan uniform -
it's such a great tradition," Iding said.
discipline myself to study. (Practice) some-
times gets in the way, but there's always a way
to work it out," Moore said.
Mandoli said her college experience has
presented her with many challenges as far as
quantity of homework.
"I'm not really used to having as much
homework as I do. It's sometimes hard, but
I've always juggled lots of things. It's fine if
you just sit down and do it," Mandoli said.
Mandoli said from the experience she has
had with professors and coaches at the Univer-
sity so far, athletes are "expected to keep up as
best as they can."
Meyer said she utilizes the advisers provid-
ed by the Athletic Department.
"There's always support staff in the Athletic
Department. The academic advisers are really
good," she said.
Meyer had a professor one semester who
she said was not lenient on her being late to
class after practice.
"We sometimes don't get back until 9 a.m.
(from practice). He told me that if I missed the
quiz, which was given during the first five
minutes of class, I wouldn't be able to make it
up," Meyer said.
Meyer said that most of the time, she
doesn't like her professors to realize she's an
athlete and she does the best she can do to
keep up in her classes like the rest of her Uni-
"It's sort of frustrating, but at the same time
you don't want to ask for special attention.
That's not fair," she said.
Sleep is as essential for athletes as any other
college student, Mandoli said.
"I try and sleep seven hours a night. Some-
times that's hard to get. Some people stay up
quite late, I don't know how they can do that,"
Mandoli said she likes to go out with the
other people in her residence hall, but some-
times that's not possible for her. She said she
has practice on Friday mornings, so she never
goes out Thursday nights.
"On the weekends I try to go out. I try to
have a balance of athletics and school in my
social life. I still feel like I'm living a college
life. On Thursday I see everyone in the dorm
getting dressed up to go out," Mandoli said,
adding that not being able to go out is disap-
pointed, but that she enjoys her sport and
thinks staying in is worth it.
Iding said sleep is a must for him.
"Days when I don't get enough sleep. It's
tough to get through everything," he said.
tihe time god'
A 'U gymnas
7d 5 "- :45
Athletes U can sponsor:
Men: 441 Women: 445
Athletes on full scholarships: 262
Athletes on partial scholarships: 184
SOURcE: Michigan Athletic Department AMANDA CHRIsTIANSON/Dally,
University athletes are expected to carry the
same course load as any other student.
Although many said that is tough to do, they
agreed that they are at college to learn.
Gatti, who studies mechanical engineering,
said a full course load and practices prevent
him from going out often.
"In the fall, I had a heavy course load and I
found myself staying in a lot. But college is
for studying," Gatti said.
Gatti said that on his team, academics come
"The coach's philosophy is that school
comes first. We have to miss practice for an
exam. We can't skip exams," he said.
Moore said that with balanced schedules,
she somehow finds a way to accomplish the
"It's tough to try to go to classes and then
3:#00 - 6:3
793 - 9:30
Ma nd ado ry
fres h a n
10:0 - 30
Alh otes: Pwe r ro sports,
0co o sf thin them
Dreams of scoring goals or setting a record time often dance in
the heady of student athletes. The pressure from teams, coaches
and professors for optimal team performance and academic success
But many student athletes at the University agree the bulk of the
pressure they feel during their athletic experience at the University is
"I put the most pressure on myself. It's hard to succeed at every-
thing. There are somedays when it's hard to get an A on a paper and
go score two goals in a game," said Kinesiology sophomore and soc-
cer player Joey Iding.
That's not to say that pressure doesn't come from teammates, but
athletes said it drives rather than discourages them.
he had too many other things he wanted to do at the University this
"I started out in fourth grade and kept running. I was burnt out, I
wanted to do other things. I wanted to focus on other things. It was
better for me," Agostinelli said.
"The most pressure was from myself," he added.
Kinesiology freshman and crew member Heather Mandoli
wakes up two days a week at 5:45 a.m. during the off-season and
at 5:10 a.m. everyday during the season but says she tries to get
seven hours of sleep per night, which helps her make it through
"The only pressure I feel that is overwhelming is from myself. I
don't get overwhelmed with pressure from other people. That just