For winter athletes at Muhlenberg College there is an obligation to remain on campus for a sizeable portion of the school’s winter break. Besides participating in the practices and games associated with their particular sport there is a lot of free time for the student athletes without many others on campus.
For Sara Dilly ‘19, a senior on the women’s basketball team, she remembered back in freshman year, she felt a bit uncomfortable staying on a campus with no other students around, but that was quickly changed through team activity. She recalled her team making a music video to the song “Downtown” by Macklemore as a winter break activity that the entire team will never forget.
“I’ve grown more used to it and actually enjoy spending time on campus focusing on basketball, not having to deal with the added pressure of keeping up with academic responsibilities,” said Dilly. She added that the the team does great job of staying supportive of each other and scheduling team activities where they can all have fun like team meals.
A similar outlook was shared by men’s basketball guard Brenden Hughes ‘19. “My winter break is very relaxed. There are no classes, only basketball and hanging out with the team.” He enjoys not having to attend any classes and the stress associated with work. “It’s peaceful and nice to be the only ones on campus,” said Hughes. “Our team spends a lot of time together bonding.” The team bonding activities of choice? “We usually watch movies and play video games. We usually get to sleep in and play the sport we love,” answered Hughes.
“My winter break is very relaxed. There are no classes, only basketball and hanging out with the team.” – Brenden Hughes ’19
Not all student athletes who stay over winter break enjoy the quietness of campus. “Staying at school over winter break is literally terrible,” said Kelly Travitz ‘19 who runs track. She went on to explain how the modified dining hours can affect student athletes. “Since we are on campus for practice doing two-a-days I’m usually very hungry and it is hard to find food.” To try and combat few food options and to gain team bonding experiences Travitz and her teammates cook meals together.
Mixed feelings from student athletes regarding staying on campus during Muhlenberg’s winter recess is understandable. It is a time homesickness runs ramped, knowing they could be spending the time at home with their families. So, while it might be boring at times, it is the sacrifice necessary for a winter athlete.