ATHLETE HAS STRONG GAME BOTH ON AND OFF COURT
As a small private school, Northwestern is a place where students have the opportunity to engage in a variety of extracurricular activities and interests. Many students enjoy participating in sports, dominating on the tennis court, football field or track, but very few students are able to divide their time between multiple sports teams.
As a two-sport athlete, sophomore Anna Kiel has learned how to balance her time and talents between the basketball and volleyball teams. Rockin’ a sweet messy bun (seriously, I asked her to demonstrate her technique), Kiel shared her experience as an NW two-sport student-athlete.
With a morning routine balanced between hitting the snooze button a few times and a full class schedule, Kiel’s day usually starts about 40 minutes prior to the first class of the day – between 7:05 and 8:10 a.m. After grabbing a bite and heading out the door, Kiel begins her daily commute in the same way she gets ready – quickly.
In fact, she’s almost got it down to a science. “I can get to pretty much any room in Van Peursem Hall in 5 minutes from my room in Stegenga,” Kiel said.
Despite trying not to rush past her classmates, Kiel said, “It’s sometimes hard to stay behind leisurely walkers.”
For Kiel, timeliness is important, especially when it comes to practice. Ideally, she’s “dressed and ready to go” half an hour before the beginning of practice. This part of the day moves in a well-known rhythm of stretching, drills, water breaks and scrimmage-like games. The conclusion of practice means the promise of a shower and supper before beginning her nightly studies.
There are two things that make studying a bit more enjoyable for Kiel: friends and coffee. Most evenings one can find Kiel at one of NW’s most popular study spots, the DeWitt Learning Commons. The coffee from Common Grounds provides her with the post-practice pick-me-up needed to stay focused on her studies – not to mention it just plain tastes good.
Whether it’s during practice, class or while doing homework, Kiel’s social nature shines through in all aspects of her day.
Despite spending most of her time interacting with her teammates, Kiel also said that she enjoys meeting other people on campus: “I like to get to know people in my classes, because then I can meet people outside the sports I play.”
Not surprisingly, people are the best part of Kiel’s day. Kiel said that her favorite time of the day is when her homework is done, because then she is free to just enjoy time with friends.
Being committed to both an academic and an athletic career can sometimes be draining. One of the ways Kiel likes to take care of herself at the end of a busy week is by setting her homework aside for at least one day. This self-care habit is still in progress, but Kiel believes this time helps her “really rest and just take a break from everything.”
No matter what time of the year or season she’s in, there is one kind of “break” Anna is always game for – an ice cream break: “I love ice cream, so if my friends are down to get some, I will never say no.”