HomeBaseballTJC baseball players find balance as student-athletes

TJC baseball players find balance as student-athletes

The sound of baseballs cutting through the warm air, the popping of catchers’ mitts, and the crack of the bat signify the time of year. Baseball season is here, and professional baseball players are in spring training solely focused on their occupations. Simultaneously, thousands of college baseball players are striving to advance in their baseball careers all while figuring out a time to get those assignments turned in. Tyler Junior College pitcher, Grayson Murry, and shortstop, Mikey Gallegos, share some details about the life of a college baseball player.

Shortstop Mikey Gallegos discusses finding a balance in his life as a student-athlete. He has forged a strong bond with his fellow players through practice together.
Courtesy of TJC Athletics

 Both Murry and Gallegos agree, one of the toughest aspects of being a student-athlete is the time commitment. Athletes are not always guaranteed extra time to get assignments done and must commit to the same deadlines as other students. Whether in-season or off-season, college baseball players are busy. Morning lifting sessions, three-hour practices, extra practice reps, and travel for games is the norm for this group. Mandatory study hall time is a way coaches keep their players eligible and ensure their work is completed. Online classes allow college athletes more freedom to get assignments turned in during their downtime. 

“I get my work done way ahead of time and make sure to check Canvas daily,” said Murry when discussing how he prioritizes baseball without sacrificing grades. 

College baseball players can miss playing time with poor grades and mediocre performance. As the advanced data trend in baseball continues, stats are important because they help managers and baseball scouts make lineup decisions, according to baseballreference.com. Earned run average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage are a few statistical grades coaches use to evaluate their players’ in-season performance. In comparison, it is identical to professors measuring a student’s grade on exams or their overall GPA. 

Gallegos found a balance in his identity as a student-athlete when he concluded, “I’m not just here to play ball.” 

Pitcher Grayson Murry touches on the difficulty of keeping up with both school assignments and baseball practice. To help combat overlapping deadlines, Murry likes to get his work done ahead of time.
Courtesy of TJC Athletics

Being a college baseball player adds something that the everyday student may not experience, a bond like family. “Being a student-athlete is so awesome, being able to play the game you love with people you spend everyday practicing, working so hard with, and even more so, people you have built great friendships with,” Gallegos said.
Similarly, Murry credits baseball at TJC to “friendships that will last a lifetime” and the leadership skills it has taught him. 

Gallegos and Murry are students first and athletes second. Their education is a principle factor that will come into play when deciding the next step of their athletic journey. Murry’s academic goal is to maintain a 4.0 GPA and one day pitch at Ole Miss.  If Ole Miss does not pan out, “I would want to go to an Ivy League and get an education,” Murry said.

Gallegos also wants to play baseball at a school that will improve his academic resume. “I would want to attend a school where not only I can benefit for baseball but also benefit from the school and getting a good degree,” Gallegos said.

Someday all baseball players will hang up their jersey in their locker and unlace their spikes for the last time. Regardless of when that day comes, Murry and Gallegos’ maturity and time management skills learned at TJC will propel them every step of the way. 

To see these players in action visit apacheathletics.com to find the 2023 baseball schedule.

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