Hello everyone! Mi name is Alejandro Estrelles and I am a student-athlete playing soccer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am currently a Marketing student, and I just finished my second year in school, which means that, if everything goes as planned, I will be graduating in two years.
Every year a lot of international soccer players decide to go to an American university to play soccer for their team. All this is thanks to all the athletic scholarships that are available in the United States. The goal of this post is to show you in a very schematic way how my day-to-day in an American university as a student-athlete is, and therefore, have an idea of how your life is going to be if you decide to pursue a soccer scholarship. I have divided my year in three different parts.
Sports’ seasons in the US change between semesters. In other words, depending on what sport you are playing, your season will either be on the fall or in the winter/spring, so my day from one semester to another changes significantly. My soccer season goes from mid-August until the end of November. To make this post easier to understand, I divided this post in three parts: pre-season, season and off-season.
The preseason is the part of the year in which my team gets back together after a long summer to get ready for the season. During the three or four weeks that preseason lasts, classes have not started yet, so I spend the majority of the day with my teammates. We have two daily training sessions, both of which are always very intense to get us mentally and physically ready for the season and, in addition, every meal is a team meal, to create team chemistry that will help us along the way. A preseason day looks more or less like this:
6:30 – Wake up and get ready to go to the team dining hall
7:15-8 – Team Breakfast
8:45-9:15 – Preparation for training session
9:30-11:30 – First training session
11:30-12 – Recovery after training
12:30-13:30 – Team Lunch
13:30-15:00 – Free time
15:00-16:00 – Team activities
16:00-16:30 – Preparation for training
16:30-18:30 – Second training session
18:30-19:00 – Recovery after training
19:00-20:00 – Team dinner
20:30 – Back home
For me, this is the most fun part of the season, but it is also the busiest one. The most fun part because we are playing games every 3 or 4 days, travelling across the country with your teammates for those games, going to cool hotels the day before games… but also the busiest one because I have to be able to keep up with my school work while I am doing all the fun parts mentioned above.
Due to different athletic commitments, we are forced to skip some school days, and although teachers are understanding of this situation, that doesn’t mean that they will make it easier for me. Instead, I have to work twice as hard to teach the content that I missed to myself. My day-to-day during the season changes depending on whether we have home or away games, or if we simply have a training day. I will describe how one of my season days looks like, but not a day where I have a game, but a day where I only have training.
8:30 – Wake up, get breakfast and get ready for class
9:30-14:00 – Class
14:00-15:00 – Preparation for training
15:00-17:00 – Training Session
17:00-17:30 – Recovery from training
17:30-23:00 – Free time
23:00 – Sleep Time
Once our season is over, the off-season starts. Off-season doesn’t mean that we are absolutely done with everything. The “off-season” goes from the day we come back from Winter Break until the day we go back home for summer, which is basically 4 months. During these months we have two daily training sessions, one at the gym and another one at the field. In this time, we only play five friendly games.
Many people describe this part of the season like a “pre-preseason”, in which the team grinds for 4 months to get ready for the season. The good thing about this part of the season is that we usually get to have the weekends off, unless we have a game, but that is only 5 weekends. An off-season day for me looks like this:
6:30 – Wake Up
7:00-8:15 – Gym Training Session
8:30-9:00 – Breakfast
9:00-14:00 – Class
14:00-18:00 – Free Time
18:00-19:00 – Preparation for training session
19:00-20:30 – Soccer Training Session
20:30-21:00 – Recovery from Training Session
21:00 – Free time
So, this is how my day-to-day looks like in an American university. I hope it has been helpful for you to get a glance at how life as a student-athlete is over there. In words it looks like a very busy day every day but trust me when I say that although everything seems busy and boring, there is time to enjoy yourself and have some fun. I face different situations every day, which makes every day different and very enjoyable. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.
If are a soccer player and you would like to get an athletic scholar and play for an American university like me, I recommend you to create a profile in Mooxye. Once you are register in the platform, you will find all the information you need to get a scholarship on your own.
Hope you enjoyed reading this and see you in the next post!