Feature: Life With No Time(Out)Written by Matthew Peterson
At home or away, win or lose, we belt out the alma mater, often off-key and at the top of our lungs. We even give up a few more hours of sleep so that we can play an extra round of cornhole before being funneled into the stadium by those sometimes charming, sometimes grumpy security guards.
As fans, we do all of these things and more. After all, Williams-Brice isn’t going to “Sandstorm” itself. And who’s going to start anti-Clemson chants if we don’t? Our stadium holds more than 80,000 people and we do our best to fill it every Saturday. Yet, we often forget that we are only driven to do this because of the work our team puts in day after day.
We only get up early on gameday because the team wakes up even earlier all year.
All of this is only made possible because of the time each player dedicates over Christmas vacation, while the rest of campus is vacant.
It’s a longer season than we all realize. The team works for 11 months out of the year; they have one month off before returning to campus in June for summer training. We may dedicate our weekends for a few short months, but these boys sacrifice theirs year-round.
The next time you see a football player, ask him about his last Thanksgiving. His answer will likely be, that he spent it with the team in Columbia, away from his family. He’ll tell you about the Gamecocks that have become his new family.
“For Thanksgiving, the team stays in Columbia. If you have family nearby, you go there. Most players go to a team meal, though,” says senior Defensive End Devin Taylor.
The team really only gets one holiday (two or three days off for Christmas) before returning to campus on the 26th or 27th of December. They then travel to the site of their designated bowl game in order to begin feeling out the terrain.
Ask that same player how his summer was and he’ll tell you about waking up early every day, and how famously hot Columbia really is.
“Voluntary summer workouts start in June. No coaches are allowed to be present, so we rely on leadership within the team to make sure players show up,” Devin says.
And if you get squeamish at the thought of summer workouts, consider this: they also go to class.
“We encourage them to take classes since they’re already on campus working out,” says Raymond Harrison, the Senior Associate Athletic Director Overseeing Academics and Student Support. “They’ve done a great job of balancing academics and athletics and we’re glad to see players getting ahead in the summertime rather than playing catch-up.”
For most students, summer activities make it hard to find the motivation to enroll in even one summer course. We have to leave our friends at the beach behind to go make up the Spanish credit we didn’t quite achieve in the spring because we were... at the beach.
A summer day for the Carolina football team is spent in cleats, not flip-flops. Players work out in the mornings, go to their summer classes on campus and then to study hall. Next, the team works in position groups; quarterbacks throw to wide receivers and linemen hit sleds in blocking drills. No doubt they drop more than an expletive or two during these days. For incoming freshmen, these practices are just the beginning of their college careers.
Off the football field, there’s just as much dedication and hard work.
“At orientation we try to explain [to incoming freshmen] the fish bowl that they live in,” says Raymond, “They’re being watched all the time so we try to prepare them for that.”
Part of this preparation includes a presentation put on by the upperclassmen. They discuss drugs, drinking and driving, and academic integrity. And for good reason: Once these boys become USC players, they live in the spotlight and every move they make is scrutinized.
Devin knows this fact well. He says it can be difficult to feel like a typical college student with the amount of media exposure players get.
“Going out is more stressful,” he says, “because you don’t want to embarrass your team and your coaches. You have to be smart. Sometimes people do recognize me and ask for a picture. I don’t mind doing that for them.”
“Sometimes it’s tough when I have family visiting,” he adds. “We’ll go out to eat and people want to take pictures. It’s part of playing here. You’re always on the job when you play for USC.”
Football players have a life separate from the academic, social and family environments average students are used to. Each player has a life that revolves completely around Carolina football.
At USC, football is more than just a game. Anyone who’s experienced Saturdays in Columbia knows it’s closer to religion than a sport.(insert Clemson insult here). It’s a reason to celebrate, cheer, let loose and be cocky. The start of football season means that we, as students, have begun another year at this amazing school. It’s our chance to root for veteran players and notice the sparks of brilliance in new ones.
Remember, though, that it’s more than just tailgating and sweating through halftime. It’s the product of the team sweating through the dog days of summer... and fall, winter and spring. It’s the culmination of a full year of training.
For the team, it’s life.
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 00:34
posted by Anonymous
Canadian Pharmacy low cost drugs leading discount online http://live-meds.com/ of mail order for prescription medications. Brand name viagra cialis price online or the 20 mg dose http://www.vip-pills.com/. Drug prices at crnisradiy verified online pharmacies cheapest price comparison.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 07:18
posted by vozyerrorma
shoe lifts provide the user the capability to increase height in an incremental style, steadily increased height is a lot less obvious than the instant increase offered by elevator shoes and allow the user to get utilized to their height increase more than a time period that is totally inside the users personal manage
Click This Link
- Comment Link Thursday, 21 March 2013 18:11 posted by dutyfree cigarettes
Saturday, 23 March 2013 04:57
Since there are a lot of cases of fake drugs being found in pharmaceutical stores http://www.az-online-pharmacy.com , you should try and not fall prey to these suppliers who sell fake drugs.
Sunday, 24 March 2013 22:19
Order levitra mastercard http://securetabs.pro/levitra-en.html - buy levitra online. Levitra payment mastercard.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 20:42
Pfizer brand viagra without prescription. Buy brand viagra 100mg http://www.open-bio.org/bosc2001/program.html brand name viagra. Order cheap brand viagra online.
Saturday, 30 March 2013 05:07
posted by elusydued
Radiologists dissipate many years in teaching and in residency http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2012/02/mri-operator-training.html scholarship how to read and illuminate acumen MRI http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-is-pediatric-radiology.html (Winsome Resonance Imaging) scans. Without the prone of trial these doctors comprise, it is unlikely that you resolution be http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2013/02/about-mri-prices.html adept to successfully interpret or recognize problems based on scans. Manner, reading MRI http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-to-become-certified-mri-technologist.html brain scans can help you to befit familiar with the anatomy of your own http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2013/03/about-medical-imaging-job.html perspicacity, and come to terms you more over-friendly and comfortable with any abnormalities that your doctor may have hebetate out to you. http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2011/09/salary-range-for-radiographer.html .
Saturday, 30 March 2013 08:28
posted by elusydued
Radiologists assign many years in public school and in residency http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-get-help-for-manic-depression.html erudition how to study and illuminate brain MRI http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2011/10/radiology-cerebral-palsy.html (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans. Without the up on of observation these doctors include, it is unthinkable that you force be http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2011/12/piriformis-syndrome-of-knee.html proficient to successfully know or recognize problems based on scans. Manner, reading MRI http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-test-for-liver-problems.html imagination scans can better you to develop intimate with the anatomy of your own http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-classes-are-necessary-to-become-ct.html brain, and represent you more usual and comfortable with any abnormalities that your doctor may be suffering with pointed for all to see to you. http://mrigov.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-does-shareholder-get-paid.html .
Saturday, 30 March 2013 09:05
posted by indervile
Adam4Adam sites offer the perfect distance to look http://adam4adams.blogspot.com/2013/01/adam4adam-benefits-of-gay-dating-sites.html throughout supplemental relationships in your life. There are http://adam4adams.blogspot.com/2013/01/adam4adam-benefits-of-gay-dating-sites.html many gays who are hiding their occur feelings merited to judgement down identical shacking up relationships, stopping http://adam4adams.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-are-men-seeking-men-at-free.html many gay individuals from ever coming outside into the communal eye. But the Internet and Adam4Adam services has provided an http://adam4adams.blogspot.com/2013/01/adam4adam-your-own-special-day-lets.html egress on these individuals, sacrifice a grade where gays from all over the humankind can communication each other in the http://adam4adams.blogspot.com/2013/01/adam4adam-benefits-of-gay-dating-sites.html surreptitiousness of their own homes.
- Comment Link Sunday, 31 March 2013 20:18 posted by Ancecelanok
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.