"The game of baseball is so tough physically and mentally. When you're doing it as a student-athlete, baseball not only builds character, it reveals it."
The words are from Caleb Barker, the starting catcher for the UH baseball team (54 of 58 games). While a leader and a winner on the field, the organizational leadership major also is a winner in the classroom: Conference USA All Academic Team, C-USA Academic Medal, Commissioner's Honor Roll.
UH student-athletes quickly learn the value of time and help.
"The athletic department here gets you the help you need to be successful," Barker said. "That, together with the pride that I take in my academics, have really been a great recipe for success."
UH Student-Athletes have support from a team of advisers and counselors, some of them former athletes themselves. Through structured study halls, tutoring sessions and face-to-face meetings, athletes find success on the field, court and classroom.
"It's not all about being an athlete. It's not all about being a student. It's how to make those worlds mesh together," said Lori Selzer, one of five academic counselors for UH student-athletes. "Time management is at the very crux of that."
Programs like Freshman Success and Transfer Groups keep athletes on track with academics. One-on-one meetings called Proactives check the athlete's progress in the classroom.
"When you walk out of that first Transfer Group, you're going to have a monthly calendar for the entire semester of every assignment due date," she said. "Within 72 hours, in your email inbox you've got all of your tutoring appointments schedules. You're also going to have all your online accounts established."
Additionally, programs like the Academic Center for Excellence give athletes the resources they need to be successful students. With this rigorous attention, student-athletes saw near record achievement in grade point average.
"It's a good feeling to know that they want to help you be successful and that they're there for us to be successful. They'll do whatever they can to help you succeed," Barker said.
Student-Athletes are part of what's happening at the University of Houston.