College athletes need key characteristics for success

Jack Kielmeyer, Photo Manager/Reporter

“Only one in 52 student athletes go to an NCAA Division one school,” according to the website Nate Stadler, a former swimmer at Westerville South was one of these 52 people. He is now a member of the Florida State University swim program. 

Athletes often demonstrate characteristics that are beneficial in both their sport and life. WSHS Athletic Director Jeff Good said, “Self confidence, self motivation, and a killer instinct both on the field and in the classroom,” contribute to an athlete’s success at the collegiate level.

Dedication and time management are also necessary characteristics for college athletes. To be a student athlete from high school to college you have to be willing to spend lots of time practicing and doing homework. According to Stadler the FSU swim team practices 19.5 hours a week, taking around 20 hours away from a swimmer’s studies.

To achieve the level of success Stadler currently enjoys, he said he would set personal goals each year. “I would have some new and outrageous goal that I wanted to achieve, ” Stadler said.  Even though he did not achieve all of the outrageous goals he set, they always motivated him to get better and propelled him closer to reaching goals he never thought were possible. 

Stadler was a record breaking swimmer for the Westerville South swim team from 2014 to 2018.  According to Stadler he “ finally made some waves”  with his 100 meter backstroke state meet race in 2018, where his time was 50.76.  Following this race, Stadler received a message from the Florida State University swimming program stating their interest in his talents and hope of adding him to their team. 

Stadler described his journey to get where he is today as rocky, but “ worth every up and down that I’ve had.” During his junior year at Westerville South, Stadler had a health issue that took him out of the game for an extended period of time; and more recently, he has battled some personal issues. However, this never killed his spirit, and he is in one of the top 35 Division one schools in the country. 

Stadler said loyalty is also a common characteristic, and one that he has seen in his teammates. Not just loyal to the team and the sport, but they are loyal to each other. While going through some personal issues over the past year, Stadler said, “They’ve been super supportive and loyal and really helping me to keep me going.”

Former teammate Caleb Baker, who is now swimming at the division two school, Ohio Northern, said, “I would describe my teammates as busy people trying to find the time to do the sport of swimming and push themselves.”

To help high school athletes who are dedicated, motivated, and willing to better themselves, the city of Columbus and Westerville South provide three athletic scholarships: Columbus Dispatch Scholar Athlete, Agonis Club of Columbus Scholar Athlete, and the South Athletic Booster Scholarship. 

The NCAA also offers a website which includes information about how to get recruited, what criteria you need to meet to be allowed into colleges, as well as information about the divisions to help those interested in playing sports in college.