George Brown’s double-sport athletes

Three GBC athletes balance demands of two teams, class work and hectic schedules

If you’re ever flipping through the rosters of GBC teams, the names of Kelsey-Jane Lamprecht, Julia Vit, and Madeleine Poulin will appear more than once.

While it’s a big enough test to juggle school work and the demands of playing on a single college team in a season, this trio of women take multi-tasking to another level. The time requirements of playing one sport alone are great, but participation in two, with seasons that can overlap, is a tremendous challenge.

Lamprecht, who plays soccer and volleyball, calls it “a stroke of luck” that her soccer commitment ended just prior to the volleyball season beginning. However, it still makes for a compact schedule.

“You really have to be willing to dedicate the time and put in the effort because you’re just going from one thing to another,” Lamprecht explained, noting that planning meals and study time need to be priorities. “I definitely didn’t have time for a part-time job, I had to make some sacrifices,” she said.

As for Vit, who’s Ontario College Athletic Association (OCAA) eligibility is finished, she plied her talents in extramural hockey and varsity volleyball. The recently finished volleyball season was her fifth with the team.

Vit said she was “fortunate in that sense that they (hockey and volleyball schedules) didn’t really overlap too much.” 

Julia Vit, who played varsity volleyball and extramural hockey this year, said playing two sports helped her game. Photo: Philip Iver / GBC Athletics

Poulin made her schedule work as soccer came to a conclusion shortly after her badminton season began. She also made the dean’s list last year, and said using the help of classmates can be important when it comes to the schoolwork and it doesn’t have to be very difficult for those athletes that are passionate.

“You won’t really need that much motivation. You’ll just do it. You’ll just go to practice, play the sports and then maybe find some room to socialize,” Poulin said. “You just make time for your school work. It almost seems like they come together, sort of like a puzzle.”

For Madeleine Poulin, the demands of playing two sports, doing school work and socializing fit together like like puzzle pieces.Photo: Philip Iver / GBC Athletics

There is no rule in the OCAA preventing players from competing in multiple sports. While acknowledging the demands on athletes who are involved in more than one sport, women’s volleyball head coach Daphne Choi sees some positives, notably, when it comes to her experience with Lamprecht, who she coached this past season.

“On some level it’s nice because the sports are so different that if she’s doing cardio workouts at her soccer practices and then she comes and we can do skill-based things in my practice,” Choi said.

Lamprecht, Vit, and Poulin all maintain that they’ve never received any negative feedback from coaches or players for “double-dipping.” 

In fact, there are skills that can be taken from one sport over to another. Vit, who is a goaltender in hockey and an outside hitter for the volleyball team, gave an example.

“Playing defence definitely correlated because it’s kind of the same ready position in hockey as it is in volleyball, so that definitely helped,” Vit said. 

For Poulin, she found that footwork and agility were tools that she had to keep sharp for both the soccer field and the badminton court. With Lamprecht, it’s all about the hands.

“For the soccer team I play in net which is a lot of hands, it’s not just running all the time. I’m not very good at running. That’s why I don’t play out,” Lamprecht said. “In volleyball, using your hands all the time, it definitely translates over into soccer.”

Of course, taking on the challenge of getting a college education and dedicating yourself to not only one, but two sports, isn’t for everyone. As Choi points out, not everybody can handle it. 

“It’s definitely not for the average athlete,” she said.

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George Brown’s double-sport athletes