A Day in the Life: Derrick Workman

Shane Harper / Cluster Staff
Shane Harper / Cluster Staff

The life of a student-athlete comes with many responsibilities and opportunities. Senior Derrick Workman experiences this lifestyle on a day-to-day basis, and with much hard work and perseverance, he is determined to succeed both on the field and off.

The starting right fielder has high hopes of continuing his baseball career after college, however, his aspirations do not end there.

Workman is a communications major with a minor in media studies, and plans to enroll in graduate school to obtain his master’s degree in sports management, or possibly go to a sports broadcasting school. Along with grad school, Workman wants to attend a Bible college. “I just want to have a greater understanding over [the Bible] as well,” said Workman. “I have a lot of learning that I still want to do.”

Workman admits that with his busy schedule, he is still mapping out his future plans. “I’m planning it all out and taking it one day at a time.”

With games starting in two weeks, there is never much downtime for the baseball player. Workman usually begins his day at about 7 a.m. with some personal reading and breakfast to prepare him for the morning ahead. He then goes to his first class of the day, Media and Democracy, at 9 a.m., and from there he heads back home to do some work around the house and to grab a bite to eat before his next class.

Once his 1 p.m. class is over (Communication and the Family System), Workman will head straight to the locker room to get ready for several hours of batting practice, lifting and either team practice on the field or conditioning. The team has about a three or four hour block in the afternoons that they devote to baseball, and game days aren’t much different.

On the days they have a game, Workman practices a similar routine. He goes to the locker room directly after his afternoon class and prepares for several hours of warm ups, which include batting, stretching and on the field practice. “A typical game day goes from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., so we’re looking at about seven hours where we’re locked into doing baseball related stuff.”

After the game ends, Workman will eat dinner and try to find the time and energy to get his schoolwork done.

Workman believes that the responsibilities that come with being an athlete in college have helped prepare him in ways that he might not have experienced otherwise. “When playing in college, you’re automatically answering to a boss. Many of us are on scholarship and our coaching staff is our boss,” Workman said. “I’ve learned discipline and how to answer somebody, as well as time management and how to map out my day. If I don’t do my job, I’m letting about 30 other people down. A lot of lessons come from it.”

Playing a sport while trying to maintain grades can be stressful, but it has its many perks and advantages. Not only do the athletes get to play the sport they love, they also form lifelong relationships with their teammates. “I’d honestly have to say my favorite part about being a student-athlete is all of the memories I have made with my teammates, the ups, the downs and just having a solid group of guys I can relate to. I’ve built lasting relationships with these guys. They’re like family to me,” said Workman.

Despite the stress and the little amount of free time, Workman still boasts one of the highest GPA’s on the Mercer baseball team. He was voted to the Atlantic Sun Conference All-Academic team in 2013 for his success both on the field and in the classroom.

The Bears will begin competition on Friday, Feb. 14, as they host High Point University in a three game series at Claude Smith Field.