Many of the new freshmen and transfers at UCF have spent this week adjusting to life as a Knight. That adjustment is getting easier for many of the student-athletes after completing three days of the New Knights program.
Each new student-athlete at UCF is required to take part in the program. It’s different than many orientations, because it gives the student-athletes an opportunity to discuss and ask questions about the new challenges they will be facing.
“The past few days have been a good opportunity for all of our student-athletes to get a chance to know each other and help them get to know their role as student-athletes at UCF, our expectations of them and ultimately our resources to make sure they succeed,” said Director of Student Services Marcus Sedberry. “We’re all trying to reach the same goal. They go through the same thing on a daily basis with each other. If they get to know each other, then they can support each other.”
One focus of the New Knights program is encouraging student-athletes to branch out and develop relationships outside their sport. Freshman track and field athlete Alexis Faulknor enjoyed meeting new people from other programs.
“Now if you see them, you can talk to them and ask them how practice was,” said Faulknor. “It’s a good thing, because they know my struggles with practice, waking up [early], the weight room and going to class.”
Time management is a useful skill for all college students. But managing time is especially important for a college athlete. The New Knights program showed them the importance of and helpful hints toward building a balanced schedule.
“Time management is really what you need to have success,” Faulknor said. “Speaking with your advisors is really the best thing for you, because they’ve been here for a while.”
“It definitely let me know all of the resources at hand for us and it gave me a chance to meet a lot of athletes who shared the same sort of concerns I had,” said sophomore baseball player Spencer Davis, who transferred from Howard Junior College. “Along with playing time and all of the concerns you have athletically, you do have a mix of studying and a social life and it’s hard balancing them.”
Sedberry says it’s rewarding to see how comfortable the new Knights are after completing the program.
“You see their faces are nervous and they don’t want to talk to anyone outside of their team, but then we mix them up and do some games and get them involved,” said Sedberry. “Then day two they come in with a different smile on their face and by the time they leave on day three they’re all friends and are going out to eat dinner together. It’s really remarkable to see the transformation over the three days.”