Thompson Rivers University

Academic success and the WolfPack student-athlete

February 21, 2019

3rd year TRU student and Wolfpack Volleyball player Anton Napolitano shares his academic advice.

Anton Napolitano is a third-year student and the setter on the TRU WolfPack Men’s Volleyball team. Anton comes from the Land Down Under, a place where spiders kill, snakes slither into houses and kangaroos punch through the door.  Recently admitted into the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Anton has narrowed his focus to English and sociology, while also taking math and theatre to feed a burning desire for overall knowledge.

No one knows the importance of time management quite like a student-athlete. In order to stay on top of my game, I’ve got to stay on top of my studies. Here is a typical Monday as a TRU student-athlete.

6:30 a.m.

I wake up from a long restful sleep ready to start my day. First order of business – make a list of everything I have to do in my diary/journal/planner/whatever it’s called. 😉 I can tick this off as the day proceeds. Once I’m organized for the day, it’s off to the gym for my morning team workout.

9:30 a.m.

After sneaking in my pre–cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs, I’m feeling lively and awake in my interdisciplinary studies class. Small class sizes allow for robust interactions between students and the teacher. I typically sit in the first two rows to reduce the temptation of drifting off into my own little world. I like to force myself to ask questions or participate in group discussions because I HATE it when the teacher asks questions and there is that awkward silence because no one answers.

If I don’t understand a concept, or want additional clarity, I don’t hesitate to ask questions. I’ve asked the same question in a multitude of ways just to make sure that it’s clear in my mind. By doing so, I may help clarify it for someone else in the class who doesn’t feel comfortable asking.


When I need to carve out some study time, I generally head over to HOL or to the Wolf Den. Located upstairs in the TCC, the Wolf Den is dedicated to WolfPack athletics and there is a room there for athletes to study.

2:30 – 4:20 p.m.

Math class requires a lot of attention. I find it useful to take a few moments before class (or anything important) to mentally prepare myself for what is to come. Meditation helps this too. I know that for math, I must sit at the front and cannot afford to day dream or else I will miss important content.

Asking frequent questions is vital for my understanding. Fortunately, my teacher is very patient. TIP: I find if I don’t understand something and have already asked for clarification, then I will ask the teacher to explain it in a different way. This way they can approach it from another angle which may help my understanding.

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Volleyball practice. Mondays are typically less intense than other days as we are often still recovering from the weekend.

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Tutoring first year student-athletes at a PACE (Pack ACademic Edge) session. This program is designed for WolfPack athletes to study in an assisted area. I love to circulate and engage with other athletes, to build connections with other teams.

It’s also a good opportunity to ask some fellow student-athletes for help with certain subjects if need be. If anyone needs any help, I do my best to support them on the spot.

Whenever I have a spare moment, I rewrite my notes. I tend to jazz them up a bit by adding colour so that it not only conveys the information appropriately, it’s visually appealing. In addition, when taking notes, copy what is on the board into your book in your own words. It is easier to understand the material when revisiting it later.

9:00 p.m.

I like to also read a book to help quiet my mind, and follow that reading with a brief mediation to calm myself before sleeping.

9:30 p.m.

Asleep, recovering for the next day.

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