“If you don’t take care of school, volleyball is not an option.”

Alec Loney

The post-secondary world is not the same for everyone; it depends on what you choose to make of it. In the realm of college athletics, there is a group of individuals who strive to excel both in the classroom and on the court. These individuals are our student-athletes!

The Humber Hawks, home of Humber College athletics, is one of the most traditional college athletics departments in the country. With finesse and discipline, the Hawks lead Humber both academically and sports-wise.

We sat down with Humber Hawks volleyball player Alec Loney to learn what it’s like to be a student athlete.

Loney, a second-year Mechanical Engineering student merges his passion for volleyball with a strong commitment to his academic responsibilities.

For Loney, it all started back when he was just a boy. He recalls his middle school days when lunchtimes were all about playing ball at the volleyball nets in the yard. These early moments were just the beginning of his amazing journey as a volleyball player. 

Before putting on the Hawks’ jersey, Loney was part of the nation’s largest volleyball club, Pakmen Volleyball where he developed skills like discipline and dedication, which would serve him in the future. 

Now, as a Humber athlete, he shares the challenges and benefits of balancing the demands of both academic and varsity responsibilities.

Alec Loney preparing to serve a volleyball.
Photo by Diego Guillen via Humber Hawks

Loney took me through his daily routine as a varsity athlete. Afternoons are all about volleyball practices, combined with video sessions and team meetings when practice isn’t scheduled. 

He said, “Pretty much every night we’ve got something.”

While volleyball is an important part of Loney’s life, he had to find a way to balance it with his academic responsibilities. He said that he tries to do schoolwork as soon as things are assigned.

Like any student, Loney learns through his experiences; commuting is something that is really tough. The commute from Mississauga to the North campus can be a bit of a struggle. He said sitting in traffic feels like you’re wasting your day.

Learning from past year, when he went home and back a lot more, he realized that it’s hang around campus a bit more.

“I’ll try to go to the gym between classes, or just study on campus rather than doing stuff at home,” he says.

Alec Loney serving a volleyball.
Photo by Diego Guillen via Humber Hawks

Although being a student-athlete may be challenging, it also brings many benefits to his professional life. Loney says that the school-volleyball crossover enhances his time-management skills. He mentions that you only learn how to manage your time by being busy, and that’s a big skill to have no matter what your area of study is.

With managing time, comes motivation. Sometimes, it can be hard for student-athletes to have a healthy work-life balance, and Loney says that the truth is that he is not motivated all the time, but it’s during such moments that discipline becomes important.

“Sometimes you get up and you are like, I really don’t want to go class today or don’t want to go to practice. But that’s where discipline comes in. You just got to put in the effort. There are definitely days when I am not motivated but you still got to go and do it,” Loney highlights.

Our talk ended with Loney giving advice to not only varsity athletes but to all students. He highlights that despite his big passion for volleyball, school needs to be everyone’s number one priority. In the past, he has seen rookies coming in and not making it a priority to play varsity.

He emphasizes the importance of keeping a good overall team GPA, and if the teammates are not supporting each other, it only takes one or two athletes to bring that down.

“It’s definitely important to keep your GPA up because you won’t play. If you don’t take care of school, volleyball is not an option. Definitely makes school your number one priority,” Loney says.

Alec Loney cheering with his teammates.
Photo by Diego Guillen via Humber Hawks

Loney shared his experience and advice that all Humber and UofGH students should consider learning discipline and time management. These skills are not only crucial for academic success but also for personal and professional growth. Whether you’re pursuing a degree in business, science, or the arts, the ability to manage your time effectively and stay disciplined in your approach will serve as a foundation for success in any field.

IGNITE’s Skills Bundle offers a fantastic resource to further hone these essential skills, setting you on a path to excel academically and thrive in your future career endeavors. Visit IGNITE’s Skills Bundle and learn more!

Are you wondering how soft skills can help you? Here is how you can stand out in a competitive job market.

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