Some student-athletes may feel that they cannot afford to study abroad and miss any time with their teammates. Two football players and members of the Class of 2020 –– Tom McCormack and Zachary Goss –– decided to do it anyway when they chose to head over to Dublin, Ireland together this semester.
Particularly at the Division III level, the off-season can be just as important as the season itself, due to the preparation and work necessary to succeed. The off-season is also usually a beneficial time for teams to grow together, whether that is in the weight room or on the practice field.
Goss and McCormack decided to enter into the study abroad program last semester, despite feeling like they might ruffle some of their coaches and teammates’ feathers.
Goss, a defensive back, said, “At first, I was hesitant to leave because I thought I was going to miss a lot of time with the team, but I figured I’d only get one opportunity to study abroad in college and I would definitely regret it if I didn’t.”
His decision to go to Ireland was made easier when his longtime friend and teammate McCormack decided to go, too.
“Tom [McCormack] was definitely a major reason why I decided to go. I don’t think I would have come out here if he didn’t come with me,” Goss said.
While the two athletes are studying abroad in Dublin, they are expected to complete the team workouts and log them in the TeamBuildr app that the football team uses, just like their teammates who aren’t studying abroad this semester. The use of the TeamBuildr app was implemented by the strength and conditioning staff for the football team for the first time this offseason, although other sports teams at Ursinus have used it in previous years.
Along with finding a gym in Ireland that met the needs of their off-season program, the two athletes chose to try out for the Griffith College men’s basketball team to stay conditioned.
McCormack and Goss both made the team and say that the season has gone surprisingly well, given the strong competition abroad.
McCormick, an offensive lineman, said, “it’s hard to find time in our schedule to workout, with traveling and other stuff, but we manage to find a way.”
So, while athletes may feel they should steer away from the study abroad programs because it can present challenges to keeping up with the off-season program, these two are finding a way to get it done from across the pond this spring.