Athletes do everything they can to win a championship. From dietary plans to rigorous training to playing in front of a crowd, they are extraordinary individuals who strive to excel at their chosen sport. But behind every athlete’s success are the student managers who work just as hard as the athletes by looking after and assisting them to make sure that they not only perform well on the field, but in school as well.
With recruitment for student managers held last July 3-7, The LaSallian sat down with a number of student managers from the different La Salle varsity teams—Biean Abao for the Green Jins, Sofia Cruz for the Green Batters, and Bianca Hilado for the men’s football team.
Aside from assisting athletes with their academics, supporting them on game days, and helping the OSD (Office of Sports Development) with non-academic concerns such as pep rallies and the Animo Year-end Thanksgiving, they also take into consideration their responsibilities as students. They balance both life as a student and life as a manager of their respective teams.
Despite her workload, Cruz mentions that she still prioritizes her academics. “At the end of the day, [our supervisor] will still check your standing. If kaya mo pa ba mag-stay as a student manager or if kaya mo pa i-balance,” she shares.
For Hilado, time management is her biggest priority, saying, “You have to know the amount of time you should spend for academics, and for the workload as a student manager. Without time management, you can’t really perform both efficiently.”
Upsides of the job
Usually, students sign up for organizations that are related to their respective degree programs. However, students like Abao, Cruz, and Hilado took up the courage to go out of their respective comfort zones and signed up to be student managers. Their roles may not be so perceptible to most, but they are a vital cog in every team. And while being a student manager carries the burden of being responsible for the athletes with regard mostly to their academics, this duty has several advantages that has attracted many.
It is apparent that becoming a student manager entails building a certain relationship with the athletes. Not only do they obtain new friends in the team they are in charge of, but they befriend the other athletes from other sports as well. Abao explains that they have that sense of community amongst one another.
Befriending the team in their field of work helps a student manager talk about their academic matters. However, they also sometimes have to deal with uncooperative athletes who just make their job more difficult than it should be.
Aside from building new relationships, the student managers also get to enhance their managerial skills. Just like the athletes whom they assist, they do not only balance their academics, but the team’s academics as well. They make sure the athletes are still on par with their classmates and are not neglecting their duties.
As Cruz mentions, being a student manager helps develop a good work ethic that can be of great importance once they graduate. This is something that they develop while dealing with a large variety of people with different personalities “You have to learn how to deal with different personalities, so I think it’s really important. Of course, it’s first-hand experience because you’ll be dealing with that when you eventually work, so you get experience beforehand,” Hilado states in English and Filipino.
Despite the taxing duties required of a student manager, the experience they gain overcomes the hardships suffered. They may not have perks such as advance enrollment or exemptions in Physical Education classes, but they have a newfound family not only with their fellow student managers, but the athletes as well.
Along with this, they learn new lessons from one another day-in and day-out. “Because each term or each day, you learn something,” Cruz concludes. “[The athletes] learn something from you, you learn something from them, and you learn something from the experience of being a student manager.”