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Sport at university: To play or not to play

Many students studying across the United States have sports to thank for being here. A sports scholarship at a university is an opportunity to grow if they’ve excelled in a particular discipline during their school and college years. Many students lacking the grades needed to be accepted for a university place fall on their sports background to help level the playing field. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds also use football, swimming, basketball, and other skills to pay their way using a sports scholarship.

Interestingly, the US is one of only a few nations to offer its young people a direct route into higher education through sports. The unknown players on the College Football scene today may become the stars of the NFL tomorrow. And that’s why College Football is so popular with pundits, bettors, and scouts who trawl the lower leagues looking for signs of the next big thing. They spot a talent, back them to be the first pick in the next NFL draft, and check returns using the odds payout calculator.

Playing sports at university is for more than just those on a sports scholarship. Should you give it a try? Keep reading as we discuss the pros and cons of playing sports competitively while studying at university and college. You may not realize, but many of the top names in sports came through the college and university ranks before exploding onto the MLS, NBA, and NFL. Universities are a breeding ground for talent; the richest teams constantly follow that conveyor belt.

Another little-known fact about playing sports at university and college is that some of the best-performing athletes arrived without any sporting background or interest in playing sports. Some discovered the discipline that would make them famous while studying, even by accident or a freak occurrence. That demonstrates you don’t need to be a youth or amateur sports sensation to play while you learn.

Sometimes, at uni, a life-changing opportunity will drop out of the sky into your lap. That could be meeting friends that’ll stay with you for life, and you may even end up house-sharing with some. You could meet a future husband or wife during your studies, even if you don’t realize it at the time. And there’s always the chance you could try out a new sport and discover you have a hidden talent. That talent could then take you on an incredible adventure.

Should you play sports at university or concentrate on your studies? It’s a personal preference, but you should approach every situation open-mindedly. Being a university student isn’t only about reading books and submitting work at the last minute. It’s also about allowing yourself to be swept away on an adventure, meeting new people, learning different views, and being brave enough to try something that scares you. As the old saying goes, you get out what you put in.

Keep reading for the pros and cons of playing sports in your university’s colors.

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Pros of playing sports at uni

Sports in university have the same benefits as playing sports in any walk of life but with a few added incentives. Playing sports like football, tennis, and basketball improves your fitness and physical health. But it also does wonders for your mental health. Studies show exercise and competition keep you in shape while decluttering your mind.

Even if you can forget about your studies and the problems of student life for the duration of practice, it’s a luxury most students miss. Studying for a class, especially in the early days of being a student, puts a burden on your shoulders that’s difficult to shake. But a brief practice, game with teammates, or competition frees your mind. Thanks to sports and fitness, you’ll soon see your brain is sharper and your thoughts clearer.

Then there’s the social side of playing sports as a student. If you’re a high-performer on the field, you can chase titles, records, and a transfer to a professional team when your time at uni ends. But there’s also room for less talented players or those with ambitions outside sports. Join a team to make friends, test yourself, and help your school gain success against its rivals.

If you’re good enough, you may make friends at your university sports team that progresses to play in the NFL or NBA. A celebrity athlete in your contacts could help you bag tickets to a big game in the future.

Cons of playing sports at uni

Playing sports at university isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. You must be dedicated to succeed and help your team as best. That means not missing practice, traveling to away games, and sometimes miles from home on the team coach. It’s a gigantic commitment and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Suppose, for example, you join a university athletics team. You have a critical essay due that still needs work, but there’s also practice tonight ahead of this weekend’s big game against a local rival. Do you adjust your schedule to allow more time to edit your article, letting your teammates down, or do you practice and play, allowing your work to suffer?

Getting ahead in university sports is often more challenging than professional sports. For example, if you’re a pro basketball player, it’s your job, and you won’t need to worry about money. But when playing college sports, you must juggle your commitments with your studies and perhaps even a part-time job. That takes excellent time management, great social skills, and an unshakable determination to succeed.