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Jacob's on track: sport, study and family life

This article appears in: Balance work, life and study, Exercise and Sport Science, Online study
CDU student Jacob Schmid cycling on an indoor track

Student, professional athlete and new father, Jacob Schmid, talks about the dedication it takes to succeed across cycling, studying exercise and sport science, and fatherhood.

Jacob Schmid has had a passion for sport for as long as he could remember. So studying Exercise and Sport Science alongside a successful career in cycling could seem like a dream come true. The reality, as Jacob tells us, takes dedication, determination and hard work every day.

Sports psychology topics allow me to look more closely at my own race day psychology.

As an athlete, studying Exercise and Sport Science with CDU has provided Jacob with a much deeper understanding of the fundamentals that are part of his training program.

“The basics, such as my anatomy units, help me to better communicate with physios and strength coaches; while sports psychology topics allow me to look more closely at my own race day psychology,” he explains.

“I chose exercise and sport science because I have always had an interest in sport since I was a little kid, and also in the science side of most things. It was an easy choice really, as it ties in well with my sporting life,” Jacob tells us.

One thing I’ve really learnt from cycling is that real, hard work needs to go into every day of study to be able to achieve your goals.

Daily dedication

While the choice may have been an easy one, the effort he puts in to his sport, studies and family takes a big commitment. As a track sprint cyclist competing in international world cups and world championships, Jacob’s six-day-a-week training schedule is almost a full-time workload. But it’s a challenge Jacob feels fortunate to have.

It is a privilege really; to be able to ride my bike for a living, and to still be able to study a degree online at the same time.

“The biggest challenges for me are actually trying to balance my sport and study with my family life. I have a six-month-old daughter, and she is a handful, but a wonderful one at that. Luckily, my wife is extremely supportive of my sporting and academic endeavours, which makes it a lot easier.”

The daily dedication and work ethic Jacob has developed training for his cycling goals are equally important in studying towards his Exercise and Sport Science degree.

“One thing I’ve really learnt from cycling is that real, hard work needs to go into every day of study to be able to achieve your goals. Especially when learning new concepts and building a foundation in subjects you haven’t studied before. If you skip one session or miss a certain week of work, it can set you back three - just like in sport.”

Flexibility is key to Jacob’s success

“I chose to study with CDU because they offered the most flexible online Exercise and Sport Science course available, and had very good reviews," he says. 

To have the flexibility of picking up my laptop and studying my sport science degree wherever and whenever was always going to be essential for me.

“I have to make time whenever I can to be able to study, whether that’s at the cycling track in between sessions, or at home while everyone is asleep. It’s all about making time for me; because of my dynamic training schedule I can’t precisely plan out times to study.

“It makes things so much easier to have access to all your units whenever and no pressure to attend classes at exact times. That flexibility is amazing.”

Explore a range of Exercise and Sport Science courses at CDU. Study online or on campus, full or part time.

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