The life of a student athlete is never easy. A healthy balance between academics, sports, and extracurricular activities can be excruciating to manage, let alone maintain in a consistent manner. What more for a student athlete who competitively plays two different sports simultaneously?
This is the life of Cebuano gunslinger and DLSU Booter Roygbiv “Roy” Barro who dons the Green-and-White as a left-back defender in the field. A three-time Palarong Pambansa Central Visayas football qualifier, four-time Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) champion, Delfin N. Lorenzana Proficiency Shooting Junior champion, 15th Championships Holder Senator de la Rosa Junior champion, and many more—this man is as decorated as they come. With all the merits and achievements that come to his name in the domain of shooting and football, Barro also displays full tenacity in the classroom, as he is also a consistent Dean’s Lister in the University.
Brains and brawn
For Barro, his studies always come first before anything else. “In competitions, I will do everything. Pero focus ko talaga is academics kasi ‘yun yung important. Sports is just sports but you need to perform [well] in academics…and I think that’s the reason why naging Dean’s Lister ako,” he shares.
(But my real focus is on academics because that’s where it’s important…and I think that’s the reason why I became a Dean’s Lister.)
To excel in competing as a dual-sport athlete, it is necessary for Barro to have commitment, time, and a strict training schedule to meet all of his expectations. At the same time, he has to balance these demands with the additional workload given by his academic program.
“I need to wake up at 3 am then after that, [I have] training until 9 am. [After training], if I have something to memorize [or] to report, I will look at my phone or laptop and I need to memorize it while on the move,” Barro conveys. Time management, along with discipline and a sense of responsibility, is how he keeps up with everything that happens in his everyday dual-sport student athlete life.
Staying ahead of the curve
Juggling responsibilities on three ends at the same time can be a tall order for someone as young as Barro, who is currently only in the second year of his undergraduate studies. But as what has been established from his nature so far, he always has his priorities straight. “Sinasabi ko sa coach ko sa football ayoko na maging hindrance ‘tong pagsabay ng sports, kasi dapat talaga school first, and first sport ko rin talaga yung football, so I need to honor that,” Barro shares of his commitment to the DLSU football team.
(I always tell my football coach that I don’t want my pursuit of dual sports to be a hindrance in my academics, because school really should be the priority, and football’s really my first sport, so I need to honor that.)
Preparing for two sports simultaneously might get confusing at times, but Barro perfectly details the contrast between his two endeavors. “In football, it’s a team sport, so you always have to have the same goal with your teammates, because if not, the team won’t go far,” said Barro. “Unlike in shooting, I need to focus on my own, because in this sport, it’s about yourself.”
Speaking of preparations, Barro remains committed to his two crafts even amidst the toils and limitations set by the quarantine restrictions from the ongoing pandemic. “For football, self-discipline lang talaga, and then also listening sa mga instructions ni coach, especially with cardio. Sa shooting naman, I did my dry firing. Like walang bala, holster lang,” reveals Barro, detailing his training efforts at home.
(For football, it’s really about self-discipline, and then also listening to the coach for instructions, especially with cardio. As for shooting, I did dry firing; without the bullets, just the holster.)
“This actually benefited my mental health, because, before the quarantine, I was a very active person, until everything seemed to have been cut off abruptly,” Barro bares, on his initial challenges with the remote setup.
As health protocols begin to lighten and more and more sports events are slowly restarting their engines, Barro begins to ramp up his conditioning once again. He is slated to participate this December in the 24th Battle of the Gun Clubs, an annual national shooting challenge that features some of the country’s best shooters. The following year also holds many opportunities for Barro to compete in the upcoming UAAP season.
Still, at a young age, Barro has already proven himself as an amiable student-athlete, having balanced the best of two, nay, three worlds in academics, football, and shooting.
Barro also wants to take this opportunity to inform his generation of the importance of focus and maturity. “I want to show people my age that it’s focus and maturity that helped me to be in this position, and it’s ultimately up to them to figure out how to take these responsibilities and to take them seriously,” remarks Barro.
He leaves a final word of advice, “You need to focus on your own situation, kung nasaan ka, ‘cause if you will think about your competition all the time, you will be out of focus. It’s not healthy for your process.”