MLC multi-sport athletes juggle college and athletics | News, Sports, Jobs
Martin Luther College student-athletes Anna Treder and Joey Behm know all too well the struggles of juggling varsity and Division III varsity sports.
However, Treder and Behm are among a number of student-athletes who play not one, but two sports in college.
Treder is a junior at MLC who is a secondary and elementary Spanish double major. She attended California Lutheran High School in Wildomar, California, where she competed in volleyball, basketball, and track and field. She manages to balance a busy academic schedule with athletics. She plays on the college volleyball and basketball teams and she admits it can get hectic at times, especially during the month of October.
“One of the challenges that comes from playing two sports is time management,” she said. “October is an especially tough month because the basketball season is starting and the volleyball season is at a crucial time in conference play. Plus, it can be daunting to start regularly attending practices after the rest of the team has already been training for a month. However, I still feel welcomed and loved every time. Coaches and players are extremely supportive.
Behm, meanwhile, is a senior majoring in pre-seminary studies and is studying to become a pastor. He attended Kettle Moraine Lutheran in Jackson, Wisconsin, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. In MLC, he plays baseball and basketball.
Like Treder, Behm said time management is always a challenge.
“Both teams have practices, open gyms or practices for most of the school year, so playing two sports is definitely a commitment,” he said. “In addition to your athletic schedules, you also need to stay true to your academic responsibilities. Using your time wisely is a must. Another challenge would be if you wanted to focus on both of your sports. You want to get extra hits for basketball and take extra hits for baseball, but you have to balance the two. Much of this balance comes from the fact that training for one sport naturally helps you in the other sport by increasing athleticism. [and] decision making.”
Treder said it was difficult to compete in practice and then come back to his room and focus on his homework.
“My schedule is really very tiring” Treder said. “Most of the time I go back to my room and collapse after I finish my homework. Every morning I pray that God will allow me to accomplish the things that need to be done and that he will gives strength and patience to get through the day.
This last year has been extremely difficult because of the pandemic. Both Treder and Behm were happy to be able to come back and compete.
“The seasons were definitely different” said Behm. “We didn’t play any non-conference games for basketball and we didn’t go to our spring training trip to Florida for baseball, but I would say both teams were just grateful to play. Many schools had to cancel their seasons, so playing at all was something we didn’t take for granted.
Both work hard on conditioning in the offseason.
“In the summer I mainly focus on lifting and conditioning,” Treder said. “I try to get my body in the best position to prevent injuries and help recover from old injuries. I was also trying to shoot three times a week after my lift. Around the end of July and the beginning of the August, I was usually serving or preparing for volleyball.
Behm also participates in amateur baseball during the summer.
“I tend to do both during the summer,” he said. “For basketball, I’ve played in different leagues over the years. Otherwise, I usually go to a nearby gym to shoot alone or with friends. For baseball, I play on a Townball team during the summer, which helps me keep pitching and seeing live pitches all summer.
And while they both agree it can be a challenge, they’re both grateful for the reward at the end.
“One of the best rewards for me is all the great teammates I’ve had over the years,” said Behm.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many guys in basketball and baseball, and those friendships extend far beyond sports. While being able to spend time training for a specific sport would be nice, another reward is being able to play games for most of the year. There is hardly any off-season, so there are always games and road trips to look forward to.