There’s a reason the word student comes first in the title “student athlete,” and getting help through study tables has made a big difference for some Bulldogs.
There is pressure on athletes to do well in school, as the consequences are quite severe if they do poorly. If grade point averages or course grades fall too low, athletes can become ineligible to compete in their sports.
This is where study tables come in.
Study tables are mandatory study sessions that athletes at Ferris have to complete as a part of their commitment to their respective sport. Not all athletes are required to go, and the rules vary from sport to sport. For the football team, it depends on the player’s year and grades, according to Ferris senior tight end Matt Capasso.
“Study tables are mandatory for the true freshman. It’s not mandatory after that unless you are struggling with grades,” Capasso said. “They were what gave me a foundation for what I needed to do in college.”
That is what the exact purpose of these sessions was intended to be. They were established to help the athletes manage their school work in a way that allows their coach to follow their progress. The coaches can oversee their athletes’ progress while the athletes get to learn the ropes of studying in college on their own.
“It is in their [the coaches’] best interest to make sure that we’re all eligible to compete for the next semester,” Ferris sophomore cross-country runner Weston Rackley said.
Therefore, it makes sense that coaches have their own rules as well as different strategies when it comes to these study sessions.
For example, volleyball only meets up for these sessions once a week, with no meeting ever taking over 45 minutes, according to Ferris freshman outside hitter Audrey Bellina.
Rackley said that cross-country and track athletes have just one two-hour session Tuesday nights.
Football, on the other hand, has study tables Monday through Thursday for an hour and a half each, according to Capasso.
These study sessions also all have different formats, in addition to different time lengths, and volleyball is especially different from the others.
“For us, they’re not like everyone else’s study tables,” Bellina said. “The first couple weeks, we watched videos on how to become better studiers and how to better use our time. Then the next couple weeks, we kind of met up and just talked about what we had going on in our classes and how we’re doing.”
This style contrasts from the football, cross-country and track study tables, which are run basically like an everyday study group.
However, it seems like these study groups all seem to have huge impacts on the athletes’ college lives. The players who actually spend time on what they need to accomplish in these sessions, tend to do very well.
“What you put into it is what you get out of it,” Capasso said.
Study tables provide athletes school-directed time amidst their busy schedules, and Rackley said it’s valuable for athletes coming into college.
“When you’re first coming into college, a lot of times you’ll have people who will have some difficulty figuring out how to study,” Rackley said. “Going to the study tables is just helpful in having that time where you can really just focus on what you’ve got to do.”