Division I players start their days early, often go late



Many people are unaware of the behind-the-scenes work that is necessary to be a competitive basketball player at the Division 1 level.

Here’s a glimpse into a regular day in the life of an athlete at the University of Detroit Mercy.

The day begins at 6 a.m. when the alarm goes off, and players begin to prepare for the 7 a.m. weights and conditioning session.

Depending on the day, players may be in the weight room lifting or on the court/track doing conditioning drills.

“The toughest part about weights and conditioning is the early-morning alarm,” said sophomore center Malik Eichler. “We understand the impact this plays on our performance, but it doesn’t make waking up any easier.”

At 8 a.m. when the weights and conditioning segment ends, players shower, attend a mandatory rehab session with the trainer and then head to breakfast before class.

Although their schedules vary, typically basketball players have classes between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Between that time period, the players also find time to eat lunch and take a quick 30-minute nap.

Afterward, players head to Calihan Hall to begin treatment in preparation for practice.

Players try to be in the locker room preparing for practice at least an hour before hand.

“The preparation for practice is crucial because it is important to come focused and ready to go. How we practice will determine how we perform when it’s time to play games,” said junior guard Gerald Blackshear.

Practice usually goes from about 3:30 to 6 p.m., followed by another rehab session, which consists of stretching, ice baths and NormaTec, a recovery system.

Some players may have a night class, 6:40 to 9:10 p.m.

Those who don’t have night class often have study hall, which is an assigned time when players get their homework done.

After study hall, players have the rest of the night to relax and start mentally preparing to do the same thing the next day.

“Although our schedules are very busy and we have very little free time, I feel experiences like this turn us into the men we want to become,” said senior center Isaiah Jones. “It gives us a great outlook on personal discipline and time management, which will help us in the future.”

The author is a member of the Titans basketball team.