The opportunity to become a student assistant for an athletic team can promise field work experience as well as the development of skills. Undergraduate students who have completed their eligibility to play a college sport, but still want to stay involved with the program, have the chance to be involved. Mustang football is one team that gives this opportunity to prior student-athletes who played the sport and are in an undergraduate program.
Student assistant Andrew Wysocki, 22, played tight end for the Mustangs for four years while working to obtain his undergraduate degree. This season, he is finishing his bachelors degree while assisting the current tight ends for the team. Wysocki said that Stevenson head coach Ed Hottle reached out to him over the summer, giving him the official invitation to serve as a student assistant for the 2016 football season.
The Mustangs are 5-0 as they prepare to face Lycoming College on Oct.15, 2016. Along with the team’s coaches, Wysocki has been prepping the players for the game by attending practices and meetings even over fall break.
All of the football-related work Wysocki does is strictly voluntary; he doesn’t receive a salary for this work.
Wysocki explained that his motivation comes from experience. “I know what it’s like to be in a lot of these kids’ positions. This allows me to bond with them on a closer level than some are willing to develop with coaches. This experience will help me out one day when I’m coaching at another school,” he said.
Coaches of Stevenson’s football team manage most of the strategic aspects of the team, such as setting up depth charts, separating starters and bench players and developing schemes to defeat each upcoming opponent. Wysocki most consistently intervenes in actual performance and execution of the plays. He is able to evaluate the tight ends and determine which athlete is ready to perform on game day.
“I feel as though I am able to critique them [tight ends] and improve them as players and men. I can actually say that my assistance is making them better,” said Wysocki. He has taken full advantage of this opportunity to complement what the coaches are doing. His work ethic and time management skills as a student assistant must be outstanding, since the team is off to a fantastic start and plans to host a Homecoming filled with entertainment against Delaware Valley on Oct. 22.