Swinging Bridge Magazine: March 2021

Page 24



Being a student athlete in college is certainly not an easy feat. In order to balance academics and athletics, students must strike a particular balance that is challenging to get just right. At Messiah University, there are a few students who embrace this challenge, and because of their love for sports, double the intensity of being a student athlete. Messiah has various two-sport athletes throughout its campus who are striving for excellence in both the athletic and academic fields. Junior athlete, Esther Seeland, knows all about reaching excellence. As a member of Messiah’s women's soccer team, Seeland helped win the NCAA National Championship recently in 2019. On top of soccer, Seeland is also a runner for both the indoor and outdoor track teams, where she won her first NCAA National Championship in the spring of her freshman season. Her experience as a twosport athlete has been full of highs and lows. “Being on two sports teams can definitely be a lot to handle and manage at times,” Seeland said. “It can sometimes be an overwhelming commitment, but it’s really been an awesome experience.” Being a part of both the track and soccer team has allowed her to meet her closest friends and teammates.


MARCH 2021

“I’ve really loved getting to see how both my teams function and pursue their goals while both trying to honor and glorify God in their own way,” Seeland said. Leah Springer, a graduate athlete, has had similar experiences to Seeland. Springer has been a member of the women’s basketball team for the entirety of her collegiate career and was also a member of the track team up until her junior year. “I met a lot of wonderful people and found meaningful, lasting relationships in my teammates,” Springer said. “Even though it was very time-consuming and tasking, I am grateful for my experience as a twosport athlete.” Springer and Seeland have both enjoyed a plethora of athletic success. Both constantly face challenges and push themselves athletically over the course of the year to grow in their sports. However, both Springer and Seeland found that time management is often the biggest challenge they face. In order to combat this challenge, the two athletes have incorporated various time management strategies over their years at Messiah in order to keep up with both sports.

Seeland writes down assignments and events happening in the coming weeks, as well as checks in with professors to make sure she stays caught up. She also makes it a goal to avoid procrastination. Seeland believes it is imperative to be on top of her academic workload in order to handle her busy lifestyle. For Springer, it all comes down to prioritizing what is important. This helps her find balance during a hectic schedule. “Time with God is first and it can look many different ways - I believe getting alone time with Him is invaluable in my day,” Springer said. “Then, I make sure I dedicate time to my sport and to school, usually planning out my week early.” Both Springer and Seeland see the immense value in putting God at the forefront of their academic and athletic lives. They strive to use the strengths and skills God has given them to glorify Him through all aspects of their lives. “Ultimately,” Springer said, “the time I get is a gift from God and I want to use it diligently and in a way that honors Him.” Participating in two sports during college can be exciting and fulfilling, if students have the goal to do every practice and game for God’s glory.