A Day in the Life of a Student Athlete

         By Cam Dion


            Jarod Berggren is an outfielder for the University of Northern Colorado baseball team. He will travel to places like Texas, Arizona and New York during the semester. He may be an athlete, but he is also a student. On non-game days he travels around the campus for classes and practice.

Jarod Berggren

Outfielder Jarod Berggren wears his new UNC hat. Photo by Cam Dion

February 15, 2011: 9 a.m.
BIO 350: Human Physiology

Berggren takes a seat in the physics lab. Berggren shares a table with Ben Packard, a fellow baseball player, while Cody Murray and Zach Page sit at the opposite table.
            Mark Thomas, assistant professor of biology, prepares the students for the day’s lab. Electroencephalography, or EEG, will tell the students what the brain waves are doing. Page is the test subject, so he is hooked up to electrodes that will watch his brain. He blinks, does mental math and eventually hyperventilates to see how the brain reacts in different situations. Berggren controls the mouse as they look at the results on the computer.
            After the lab, the students take a quiz. Berggren finishes the quiz quickly and gets to leave.
11:30 a.m.
Lunch

            Berggren goes to Jimmy John’s for lunch. With his Honda Accord in the shop, he drives his dad’s Dodge Ram truck.
            “I can’t park this,” Berggren says as he pulls into a parking spot.
            Berggren orders a number 11, a Country Club, to go. Back in his room at the Arlington Park Apartments, Berggren turns on the television.
            “There’s never anything on,” Berggren says.
            He finally decides on watching an episode of “South Park” via On Demand. While the boys deal with Peruvian flute bands and giant guinea pigs on the screen, Berggren works on his physics homework. After the episode is over, he watches “Click” until he leaves for his next class.

1:25 p.m.
PHYS 221: Introductory Physics II

            Berggren takes a seat near the back of the room next to Murray. Matthew Semak, physics lecturer, begins drawing lines that represent an electric field on a dry erase board.
            Semak prepares the students for their upcoming lab by showing the voltage reader and a piece of paper with metallic paint they will be using. Some students head down the hall to work in the physics lab. Berggren leaves Ross Hall, with his lab tomorrow night.
2:30 p.m.
Practice starts

            Practice begins with a warm-up speech from Patrick Perry, assistant coach. He makes sure that the players are mentally ready, since injuries could happen at any time.
            “Today is the only day we are guaranteed to play baseball, and we need to take advantage of that,” Perry says.
            After warm ups, the team breaks into three groups for fielding practice. Carl Iwasaki, head coach, takes the catchers to work on pitch handling. Anthony Everman, assistant coach, hits grounders to the infielders with a fungo bat. Perry hits fly balls to Berggren and the other outfielders. Berggren misses the first fly ball with an attempted sliding catch, but he makes up for it with a catch on a similar play, with applause from the other outfielders.
            After fielding practice, the outfielders and catchers take batting practice. One player stands in the cage taking pitches from a pitching machine, while two others hit off of tees. The speakers blast the country music of the radio station K99 and Lady Antebellum’s “Our Kind of Love.” Berggren hits line drives to all fields.
            After hitting practice, Perry takes the outfielders to the marching band field to work on base running. Speed does not matter here, only form, as the players practice numerous base running situations.
5:25 p.m.
Practice ends

            As the sun sets, the players begin to clean up. Some players pick up baseballs and bats, others sweep the dugout. Berggren helps put away the batting cage.
            With all of the players gathered in the clubhouse, Iwasaki gives them a send off, telling them to practice hard for the next two weeks. Iwasaki tells the players it will be their time to have fun when games start in two weeks.
            Berggren is one of the few players who has not received a new hat, so he enters Iwasaki’s office to get one. With a new blue hat with the letters “NC” in gold, he leaves practice.
            Berggren has to prepare for his busiest day of the week, Wednesday. Starting with an 8 a.m. class, he has no time to unwind until after his 8 p.m. lab. He will spend Tuesday night relaxing and catching up on homework. But before that, he goes to get a haircut, just like any other student.


Jarod Berggren
Dath of Birth: Oct.31, 1989
Hometown: Born in Stockton, Calif.; raised in Broomfield
High School: Broomfield High School
Year: Junior
Major: Biology, with an emphasis in pre-med
Minor: Chemistry
Favorite MLB teams: Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays
Favorite MLB player: Andres Galarraga
Source: Jarod Berggren