Into the Mind of a Student-Athlete

Elon Phoenix Athletics. “Night Of The Phoenix 2012 Student-Athlete Feature.” 21 Feb. 2012 <>

Advocates for the Phoenix Club at Elon University compile a montage in which three student-athletes express their joy in being faced with the constant challenge of managing being an athlete while attending school at a rigorous university.

The video clip features three successful Elon University student-athletes who show the audience how difficult, yet rewarding, it is to play on a successful Division 1 Varsity sports team, while excelling in the classroom as well.  The three students being interviewed share the background of their early lives, and explain the steps they took in choosing to attend and participate in Varsity athletics at Elon. Seeing the former lives of these teens, from a typical American household to a dangerous home in Liberia, the viewer can see how each young adult dedicated their lives to achieve perfection.  All of the students discuss how it was their dream from an early age to become a thriving athlete, and how the university allowed them to surpass their expectations for themselves on the athletic fields and courts.

But their successes do not stop there.  The video continues on to, again, enhance how engaged and flawless an athlete must be in the classroom whether they flourish through research and internships, or any of the other Elon experiences. I am an average college student at Elon University. I rarely get my work done on time; I eat a lot, complain more, and sleep the majority of my time spent outside of class. I find my schoolwork difficult, and feel that I never have enough time to get my homework done and have a social life, too. I often imagine what it’s like being an athlete here: having practice for hours a day, traveling to games, missing classes, struggling to fit in a sliver of time here and there to be social.  I struggle at this school as a normal student, and I cannot imagine having the mental stability and strength of an athlete here.

The three students in the short clip are portrayed as ideal human beings: they are young, attractive, successful, and athletic. The interpretation of this video is one that can burst the confidence of the typical college student: while they focus on school and social aspects, their peers are pushing themselves to reach perfection in more ways than one.  They are constantly bombarded with expectations from both coaches and professors, despite the fact that these student-athletes are forced to manage far more than the average college student.  Though the minds of student-athletes seem shallow and essentially “normal” in videos like Elon’s “Night of the Phoenix 2012 Student-Athlete Feature”, studying the psychology of student-athletes provides us with interesting questions about the ways in which their complex minds function.

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One comment

  1. I think that this curation is very well done. It is a good example of how the video makes a person feel about themselves. Showing the contrast between student athletes and regular students, which is exactly what the video is aiming to do. Jane talks about what it’s like for herself as a student and shows how different and more difficult it is for a student athlete. It is clear that these student athletes are making the most of their time here at Elon and they are achieving it despite spending a large chunk of their time playing sports.

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