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Student AthleteNot everyone can make it home for the holidays.

During November and December college students usually head for home, enjoy the company of their family, and celebrate the holidays. However, for winter athletes, that is not always  the case. In fact these breaks are not much of a break at all, but a chance to fine tune skills and prep for their seasons without the distraction of college life.

Some say that athletes get ripped off during the holidays because when everybody else is off, athletes are in the gym, field, arena or natatorium getting ready for their next performance. Winter and fall sport athletes may end up training harder than ever just when other students are packing up to go home.

It’s not just collegiate athletes who miss out on the holidays.  Competitive high school players often use the “time off”  to show their stuff at vital college showcases across the nation. For prospective collegiate student-athletes, these showcases are invaluable and are often the deciding factor for college coaches who are putting forth their best efforts to recruit players for their programs.

There may be no place like home for the holidays but if you can’t get there, you can still create a holiday mood. Get together with your teammates to cook a festive dinner and create an extended family celebration. You have a unique camaraderie with your team that allows you to bond not just on holidays, but on any occasion. Having that second family helps many athletes get through the holidays as well as a weekend of competition.

So if you’re not an athlete in training during the holiday, and you find yourself sitting on your butt wishing you had a longer break, remember the athletes who are back at school practicing, training and competing. If they have a bad game for whatever reason, then don’t give them a hard time. Give them a break because they never get much of one.

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