Student athlete faces life without soccer

Imagine a life dedicated solely to one sport for the majority of your life. Every waking moment is committed to getting better and practice lasts for hours. Now imagine waking up one morning and just deciding to give a huge part of your life up. For Sean Cooney soccer was his life at NKU and he had to make the decision to cut it loose.

“Not necessarily over the sport just more over where the program was and me being a nursing major I had better things to do,” Cooney said.

Cooney, a junior, only played soccer his freshmen year at NKU and the biggest thing he learned was how to manage his time.

“It’s all about time management,” Cooney said. “If you’re not organized you’re kind of screwed, in a way, because you’ll just get thrown under the bus really quick. Time management was key, but it was hard.”

Soccer opened up a lot of avenues for Cooney in his life. Cooney said that he met his girlfriend through a common interest in the sport, she plays at Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee. He also met one of his very good friends through the sport under some different circumstances.

“Sean and I played on the same soccer team in middle school and high school on the same club team,” Nathan Garbig, a junior public relations major, said.

Garbig lost contact with Cooney after the team’s season was finished and met back up with him through working together here on campus.

Although Cooney ended his relationship with college soccer he still has close ties to the game and now coaches a couple of club teams that he used to play on.

“He does so much, he coaches for the teams we used to be on,” Garbig said. “He has nursing, coaches two teams, and then work, which is a lot of hours, and trying to have a social life.”

The time management that Cooney has been taught through the game of soccer has helped him in his social life. Garbig said that even though both he and Cooney are both really busy they make time to see one another.

“It all started with soccer,” Garbig said. “I don’t think that I would have the same connection with him if we didn’t play soccer in seventh and eighth grade.”

Sam Mullen, a junior accounting major at Transylvania University in Lexington, has known Cooney since they were kids and grew up across the street from him.

“He was always talking about how they had three-a-days and he still was getting good grades and then this year he even added work,” Mullen said.

Cooney wants to work in anesthesia as a career and hopes to get into a graduate program to get his doctorate after he graduates from NKU.

His lesson in time management was very vital to his life and Cooney has some advice for both current and future college athletes.

“I think for athletes coming in the most important and crucial thing is don’t pick the school based upon the program,” Cooney said.

Cooney said to make the decision based on the school and not the team because something could go wrong and you aren’t necessarily going to be an athlete after those four years of your life.