Your job is to be a student athlete

Practice, class, film, weights, eat, study hall …. Wait a minute, I don’t have any “me time.” How am I supposed to check Snapchat, do my laundry, call my mom, and play PS4? Treat your responsibilities as if they were your-full time job, because they are. Create an hourly planner, and update it daily. Stop scheduling nap times, and use breaks between classes to study and get your work done. If you manage your time during the day, you may just find that you have 15 minutes in the evening to sneak in a game of Halo.

Advice from Alan Stein, Jr.

Alan Stein, Jr.

Pure Sweat Basketball Director of Performance: 2015 to 2016
DeMatha Basketball Director of Performance: 2010 to 2016

Alan is a world-renowned performance coach. Alan has over a decade of experience working with elite high school, college, and NBA players. He spent 15+ years working with the highest performing basketball players on the planet. He currently teaches organizations how to develop championship-level performance, cohesion, and accountability. He is the author of Raise Your Game. Visit Alan Stein, Jr. to learn about his keynotes, workshops and trainings as well as his Your Game Plan accountability program. Text the word ‘bonus’ to 66866 to receive the Key Themes from Alan’s events as well as the 8 Books Every Leader Must Read.

A teacher once told me that life is nothing more than a series of attempts. Literally, everything you do – personally or professionally – is simply another at bat. And whether the attempt goes well or not, you choose how you react. You can choose to react in a way that will serve you or set you back. If you consistently choose to react in ways that serve you, you will stay on a path of continual development and will take advantage of every chance you get to sharpen your sword and master your craft.

Please know that continual development is the key to happiness, fulfillment, success and significance. To stay on the path of continual development you must remain humble and acknowledge you don’t have all of the answers (and you never will). You must be open to learning anything and everything you can from anyone and everyone you can. Read. Watch. Listen. There is no shortage of quality information out there… but the responsibility falls on you to find it. It’s OK to be content with what you have… but never with what you are. You will always be under construction. You will always be a work in progress. There is no finish line when it comes to personal development and improvement. The number one investment you can make is an investment in yourself. You have to want to get better. But simply wanting it is not enough. Everyone wants it. You have to deserve it. And how do you deserve it? You work hard. You work smart. You work consistently. You have passion. You have grit. You have optimism. And you strive for continual development…

Advice From Former & Current College Athletes

Zmolik 2

Alex Zmolik
High School: Port Huron High
College: Toledo
Years: 2012-2016
Degree: Bachelors Marketing + Sales
Occupation: work at Soma City Church

The roadmap to success and to playing sports on a college level is really simple, but it’s not easy. All you really have to do is consistently do the right things. It’s easy to be really consistent for a few days or weeks when you have to wake up early, lift, go to class, watch film, study, eat healthy, practice, and do homework. But the people that can find the motivation and discipline to do the right things over and over again, compounding their efforts, the ones who keep going even when there are setbacks, the ones who can meet adversity with character, those are the people that make it. Those are the people you remember.

Kim Oberski

Kimberly Oberski Wagner
High School: Port Huron High
College: SVSU 2005-2009
Women’s Soccer
Degrees: Bachelor of Science Chemistry, SVSU, 2009; Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2013
Occupation: Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw

Being a student athlete is both an honor and a privilege. Student always comes before athlete, so be sure to work just as hard in the classroom as on the field. Get your name out there, never give up, and always keep your options open to opportunities, even if they aren’t your first choice. Life has a way of working out exactly how it’s supposed to if you continue to work hard, be honest and appreciative to those who help along the way, and stay true to yourself.

Ashawn Butler

Ashawn Butler
High School: Port Huron High
College: Grand Rapids CC and Wayne State University 2012 – 2015
Captain of the football team
Degree: Bachelor in Psych and Minor in Italian
Occupation: Mortgage Banker with Quicken Loans

“In life there will be pain. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret. You get to choose. Make sure you are making decisions that your future self will thank you for.” AB

Terry Mitchell

Terry Mitchell
High School: Port Huron High
Harper CC, Grand valley State University 2005-07
Degree: Bachelors in Education
Occupation: Responsible Thinking Coordinator/Head JV Football Coach/Personal Speed Training Coach.

The advice i would give is to make sure your grades come first, you are a student athlete, also be a student of the game meaning whatever sport you’re doing make sure you are watching film, taking notes, do whatever you have to do to be mentally ready.

Micaela Kelly

Micaela Kelly
High School: Detroit Martin Luther King
College: Central Michigan 2016 – present
Degree: Majoring in Physical Education

I am proudly from Detroit Michigan. I lived on the East and the Westside throughout my livelihood while growing up. I am currently a Junior here at Central Michigan University. I play for their women’s basketball team and is a proud King Crusader Alumni. I am furthering my education and is Majoring in Physical Education, and Minoring in Child Development.
For those who want to continue their athletic career in the future and play at the next level, I ask that you always work hard. There is always someone out there working harder than you and getting better; but if you want to be one of the best, you have to work like you are the best. Always believe in yourself and do things because you want to and love to do it! Your future is in your hands do not take anything for granted because it can all be snatched away just in a second. Your attitude is also key, so be great while also spreading joy, love, and laughter. Because if you don’t love what you are doing, then you hate what you are doing. Find a purpose and stick with it.

Jarrett Chapman

Jarret Chapman
High School: Port Huron High
College: Central Michigan University 2011-2015 Team Captain ‘14
Degree: BA in Sociology (criminal justice focus) & Political science
Occupation: 2nd Lt The United States Marine Corps

-There’s nothing stopping you from reaching the next level other than yourself. You have to believe and focus on your sport and set goals and work at them everyday. You also have to be ready to face adversity and learn to fight through it. Don’t let the hype or outside “noise” get to you and discourage you. Just because your from Port Huron MI doesn’t mean you can’t play at the next level on the “big stage”. High school can be distracting as well don’t let the day to day social aspect of high school distract you. Doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but if you want to get to the next level you will have to make sacrifices. During the summer and certain occasions you may become a lone wolf and that’s okay. Your chasing a dream. Be a good guy/young lady, be a leader, and be someone that a University would be proud is on their campus.

Mark Miller

Mark Miller
High School: Cass Tech
College: SVSU 2003-2009
Bachelor of Business Administration SV, 2009
Masters of Business Administration U of Phoenix, 2011
Masters of Science Higher Education, 2014
Occupation: Director of Student Services

Aim for excellence, not perfection. Cultivate a learning mindset instead of a fixed mindset. And always keep your eyes on the prize!

Matt Black
Born: Toronto, Ont, Canada
College: Saginaw Valley State University 2009
Degree: BA Communication. Minor: Marketing
Occupation: Professional Athlete (10 year veteran Toronto Argonauts of the CFL – Canadian Football League), Public Speaker, Youth Mentor.

Academic All-GLIAC team in 2007
1st Team All-GLIAC 2008
Jake Gaudaur Recipient 2016
2 time Grey Cup Champion 2012 & 2017

Think about where you want to be in 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. Write it down. Make smaller goals that will help you accomplish each of those milestones. Write them down. Now you have a road map. Yearly evaluate where you are, where you want to go and adjust your plan accordingly. Most importantly, keep like minded friends. The company you keep will either propel you to your goals or prevent you from achieving them.

Being a college athlete isn’t forever everybody. It’s a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication. However the experiences, opportunities, life skills and relationships you develop will be unmatched. The 5 years I spent playing college football at Saginaw Valley were some of the best years of my life. To have that opportunity changed me for the better.

Dream big, work hard and believe in yourself!

Taiwan Jones

Taiwan Jones
High School: Anchor Bay
College: Michigan State University form 2011-15.
Degree: BA Sociology
Occupation: Public Speaking and Mortgage Business
After leaving Michigan State, I went on to play a few seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets.

In order to play at the next level, you need to be able to listen and be coachable. Your teachers, parents, and coaches are only telling you things to help you and not hurt you. Be able to take what they’re saying and apply it to your life. Also don’t depend on sports to be the only way to make money or to provide for you and your family. If you have a backup plan and you are just as serious about that as you are playing your sport, it will take a lot of pressure off and you can play freely and you’ll see yourself excel. But ultimately, have fun doing what you love doing, outwork everyone else and everything else will follow.

Troy Burrell

Troy Burrell
High School: Port Huron High
College: Wayne State University
Degree: Kinesiology; Exercise and Sports Science
Occupation: Functional Exercise Therapist for Functional Therapy Unlimited

First and foremost being a student-athlete begins with the classroom. If you aren’t taking care of business there then the athlete side doesn’t even matter. One day the sun will set on your athletic career and you will be left with your degree and your mind. Use the sport don’t let the sport use you! With that being said, to excel at a high level athletically I’ve always felt strongly that it begins with sacrifice. Its very easy to be average, that doesn’t take much work or effort. In order to separate yourself from the pack you will have to choose to do the little things that others aren’t willing to do. The extra hours on the field and in the film room, not being able to go out every night with the crew, getting the rest you need each night, eating healthy, never settling for just enough and going above and beyond what is required. Think to yourself, in the moments that I am alone what does the story of my life look like. Is integrity woven within every decision I’m making and am I having character, not being a character. Talent might get you in the room but your character will keep you there. Lastly, understanding what a gift it is from God to be able to play college athletics. This will be one of the greatest times in your life where you will build relationships with teammates and coaches that will last for a lifetime. Enjoy each and everyday, wake up with purpose and attack it like its your last. One day your story will be told, how do you want to be remembered!