Senior athletes reflect on careers


Photo courtesy Calvin Sports Information.

“All good things must come to an end” is the anthem of every college athlete in their last semester. Many of the student athletes at Calvin have been involved in sports since their childhood. The end of their sports career is the end of an era for them.  

When asked about leaving the sports world for good, senior hockey player Ryan Bradley shares, “Obviously, it is pretty sad to be ending my sports career. I had an incredible four years playing hockey at Calvin and am definitely going to miss playing with the guys.”

As a student athlete, it is often extremely difficult to be able to find time for schoolwork, jobs and other activities, as your sport takes up most of your time. Bradley reflects that time was a difficult thing to balance throughout his Calvin career.  

“The most difficult part of my sports career has probably been balancing the time commitment with school. I am studying electrical and computer engineering, so I am always extremely tight on time. By playing hockey, I have learned to be very efficient with my time and build good work habits.”

Nathaniel Veldboom, senior track and field athlete, has a similar take on leaving the ‘Calvin bubble.’

“To be ending my sport’s career is a very frightening proposition. A thought I have tried to put off to the side and ignore. Whether it was tee ball back in kindergarten or collegiate track & field currently, organized sports have continually been a source of enjoyment and fulfillment for myself. Overall, it is an extremely saddening feeling.”

Veldboom and Bradley both agree that the greatest highlight of their athletic careers has been the relationships they formed with their teammates, on and off the ice or track. They also agree that Calvin athletics has helped shape them as well as their college experience immensely.  

“Playing sports at the collegiate level has not only taught me many valuable life lessons, but it has also allowed me to express my passion for sports and fitness with other people,” Bradley shares. “I will probably miss game days the most. College rivalries are extremely fun, and it is so much fun to play in their competitive atmosphere.”

Veldboom says the Calvin track and field program has been physically demanding, allowing him to achieve a strong and improved work ethic. 

“My sports career has affected me several ways. In particular, my sports career has taught me the importance of diligence and hard work,” he says. “I have experienced the improved work ethic I’ve developed through running shift itself into other applications of my life, for which I am very grateful.”

Amidst all these things, what these two senior athletes, among many others, will miss the most is their team.  

“I am also going to miss my teammates from over the years,” Bradley says. “I have made incredible friends throughout the seasons I have played at Calvin, and it will be sad to leave them behind.”