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A day in the life of an Ole athlete

an afternoon lounging with friends. 

Cordelia Smith ’25, a first-year volleyball player, gave The Olaf Messenger a look into a day in her life as a student athlete and how she manages her different responsibilities. Before the semester began, the volleyball team had preseason, a time for the team to get to know one another and begin training before classes began. The team practiced for four hours a day and had one session of weight lifting a week to prepare for their season. The team spent every hour of the day together, from doing team bonding exercisest and having movie nights to eating every meal at the same cafeteria table. This was essential for Smith and her teammates to grow close and learn how to work and play as a team.

Once school began, practices had to fit with class schedules. Waking up with the sun on both Tuesdays and Thursdays, the St. Olaf Women’s Volleyball team heads to Tom Porter Hall at 6 a.m. for their 60-minute team lift. As a team, they get a quick breakfast before players have to head to their 8 a.m. classes. Finding time for lunch can be tricky, Smith said, especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays when lunch is more of a mad dash to fill up a to-go box. Adequate nutrition is very important for athletes due to the long training hours and constant strain on their bodies. 

All of Smith’s class days stretch until 2 p.m. This leaves her a little over an hour to complete any homework or hurriedly toss in her laundry before her two-hour practice begins at 3:15 p.m. The team has practice every afternoon and then heads to dinner together around 6:30. Smith shared that balancing a heavy course load, homework, practices, team lift, sleep, eating, and a social life can feel impossible at times. But it all comes down to efficient time management, and knowing when your body needs rest and when it’s ready to push a bit harder. 

Despite their rigorous schedules, the Women’s Volleyball team pushes through, winning their latest game against University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 3-0. Passionate about their sport and dedicated to their studies, the women of the St. Olaf Volleyball team are truly inspiring. You can head out to support them at their next home game versus the College of Saint Benedict on Friday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Skoglund Center gym.


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