Day in the life: Joey Heavner

At 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday night, senior Joey Heavner finally sits down to study for his econometrics exam in the morning. Along with most athletes, the Mercer men’s soccer player has quite an exhaustive and busy schedule with a limited amount of time to get his studies done.
The standout soccer player begins his morning at 9 a.m. with a shower to wake him up, then a delicious home-cooked breakfast consisting of an omelet, two pieces of toast, a banana, a cup of orange juice, and a cup of coffee.
From there, he goes to the training room to stretch, rehab, and take care of his body. In his most recent game against Georgia State, Heavner went down with a very unfortunate injury of a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Although his surgery isn’t until Oct. 1, Heaver still must do rehab so that he is at full strength going into the procedure.
“For rehab there is treatment like ultrasound and electrical stimulation, heat and ice, the bike is usually incorporated, and then the most important part is the rehab itself which includes resistance and tension workouts for strengthening,” Heavner explained. “You have to rehab heavily and try to get back quickly.”
Once finished with rehab, Heavner heads to his first class, which begins at 11:00 a.m. When class ends at 11:50 a.m., the academically driven athlete knows that he won’t have much time to study later, so he spends time between his classes and meals in the library. Usually it is just getting a few assignments done for his business classes, but today, it’s studying for the econometrics test that he looks to ace in the morning.
Heavner spent a mere hour of studying in the library before he went to the cafeteria to eat before his next class which would last from 2:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
After sitting through a long two hour class, Heavner went to the cafeteria one last time before heading to the men’s soccer lounge to analyze film.
Heavner commented on the importance of watching film.
“We watch a substantial amount of our own film for analysis to try and improve what we are doing from game to game. Occasionally we will watch a little bit of an upcoming opponent’s film to try and prepare specifically for something special they can do or take advantage of something they do poorly,” added Heavner.
Soccer is a tough physical contact sport. To dominate on the field, it is very important to work just as hard in the weight room and stay strong. Heavner and his fellow teammates do just that after watching film. Strength coach Derek Rosinski provides the team with a lifting program that is specific to the strength that a soccer player must obtain.
From the weight room, Heavner heads down to the field where the team practices with coach Brad Ruzzo. Practice begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. Heavner looks forward to practice because he can catch a break from the stresses of school.
“Getting onto the field is actually a relief pertaining to all of the stuff you have to do off the field. Once you get on the field or in the weight room or watching film, all that matters is soccer and it’s such a relief sometimes,” says Heavner.
Following the two hours of hard work at practice, Heavner knows his night is nowhere close to being done. He quickly returns to the locker room to take a shower and rush to the University Center to grab Subway so that he can get to the library to study for his econometrics exam.
Finally, at 9:45 p.m., Heavner arrives at the library and begins studying for his difficult classes.
When asked how long it took to study, Heavner responded, “Normally I go to bed between midnight and 1 am, but after studying for my econometrics test, I didn’t get to bed until 3:30 a.m.”
It could be assumed that Heavner sometimes wished he had a less busy or less stressful schedule, but that is not the case.
“I personally would not trade it for anything. I get to play the game that I love and have played since I was little, and get a really good education at the same time,” Heavner admits. “You don’t even realize how busy a day it was until you sit down and write it all out!”
Despite the stress and the little amount of free time, Heavner still boasts one of the highest G.P.A’s on the Mercer men’s soccer team. He is a testament to the term “student-athlete” as he excels both on the field and in the classroom.