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The life of a retired athlete: How seniors spend final terms

Mar 27, 2012   |   by Lillian Maguire   |   The Dartmouth

No athlete would deny that his or her sport is a huge part of his or her identity at Dartmouth. When you spend that many hours with the same people working toward a common goal, it cannot help but be a significant part of your life. But when seniors finish their sports after Fall or Winter term, they must complete their final terms without the sport that formed the backbone of their Dartmouth experience.

Although most seniors do not practice with their teams after they have finished, the team still remains a big part of their lives at Dartmouth. Without daily practices, senior athletes have more time to explore a side of Dartmouth on which they may have missed out while they were active members of their teams.

Amber Bryant ’12 of the volleyball team said that although the seniors are done in the fall, they continue to play together for fun while mentoring the younger girls on the team.

“In the past, seniors have been pretty hands-off with the team after they’re done,” Bryant said. “But it’s nice because in the winter, the freshmen are able to get to know the seniors outside of volleyball and establish friendships with them.”

Bryant said that the seniors’ leadership positions wrap up after Fall term so that the juniors can take a bigger role in preparing the team for next year’s season. Usually the seniors do not attend practice with the team unless an extra position is needed.

To cure their volleyball fever this winter, the seniors coached a volleyball clinic for students at Hanover High School.

“It was so different not to have volleyball worked into my schedule,” Bryant said. “The clinic was a nice way to be together as a team and to play volleyball. I missed it.”

Bryant said that the free time that her new schedule afforded her was a nice change.

“Not being at specific places at specific times was kind of nice,” Bryant said. “With all that extra time, you get to enjoy Dartmouth in a different way.”

Although Bryant has more free time this spring, she will be spending most of it holed up in Thayer School of Engineering. She is currently trying to finish her Bachelor of Engineering degree in four years, which requires that she take three engineering classes this spring.

“Although my classes will take up a lot of time, the seniors are still hoping to get out on the Green with the men’s club volleyball team and play,” Bryant said. “We still want to enjoy our sport every chance we get.”

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