Jordan Benoit poses on the beach for the Pepperdine Beach Volleyball Team’s media day in February 2022. Benoit said the best part about beach volleyball is how often she is able to spend time in nature by the water. Photo courtesy of Jordan Benoit
Jordan Benoit, a Pepperdine junior beach volleyball player, said she can attest to the difficulties that come with being a student athlete and full-time college student, such as finding the importance of a healthy balance to succeed.
“As a student athlete, I don’t have much time to do anything, so it’s extremely important to balance my schedule and plan out my days accordingly,” Benoit said.
Growing up in Naples, Fla., Benoit said she began playing volleyball at 8 years old — with two parents who were heavily involved in the sport and an older sister who was already playing volleyball by the time Benoit could walk.
“My mom played semi-professional indoor volleyball in Peru, and my dad played for fun in Fort Lauderdale,” Benoit said. “They eventually met playing in the same beach volleyball league in Fort Lauderdale, and my sister played all through middle school and high school.”
Benoit said she cannot picture her life any differently, and now when she looks back on her upbringing, she realizes there was nothing else she would rather be pursuing. With her family as a huge support system, she said she wouldn’t be the athlete she is today without them.
“I was basically born to play this sport,” Benoit said. “My family has been my biggest supporters through my entire life and I wouldn’t be the athlete and person I am today without them.”
Benoit said her passion for volleyball has always been inside her. However, she can attest to the difficulties in finding a work-life balance that works for her.
“I have two jobs on campus — my first job is in the Athletics department, and my second job is in the Fine Arts department,” Benoit said. “On a normal week, Monday to Friday, we have training starting at 7:30 a.m., practices, then classes immediately after.”
The daily schedule of a college student proves to be challenging enough, with 78% of U.S. college students reporting they struggle with time management throughout their college experience, according to The College Success Plan.
Benoit said the best way to cope with her schedule without it taking a toll on her is to be diligent about planning out everything she needs to do and making a weekly plan that works for her.
“Personally, I like to write everything down in my calendar so my day is organized, and I can plan what I will do each day in advance,” Benoit said. “Doing this also gives me a visual of when I will have time to do homework or free time to spend with my friends.”
Benoit said time management is a key factor in succeeding in volleyball and doing well in college.
“Having a calendar, putting things into your calendar right away and holding yourself accountable are the three most important things for me when it comes to having good time management,” Benoit said.
Though the schedule and workload can be overwhelming at times, Benoit said she tries to find inspiration in everything she does. Volleyball has always been a huge part of her identity and has taught her many lessons that translate to other areas of her life, Benoit said.
“I’ve learned to never give up on what you think you can’t achieve and don’t be better for others or improve yourself to impress others— do it for yourself,” Benoit said.
Benoit said she will continue to pursue beach volleyball throughout the rest of her college years and grow her career in volleyball beyond that. Benoit said after college she hopes to play for the Peruvian national beach volleyball team because her mom is Peruvian.
“They were interested in me, so I went to Peru over the summer and spent the week training with the team and I kind of just joined the team like that,” Benoit said. “I got my dual citizenship last month and am going to be traveling to Peru multiple times throughout the summer to train with the team and will be playing in tournaments for them.”
She said the tools and skills she has learned through balancing her busy volleyball training, practice, game schedule and class schedule will help her balance a flourishing career in the future.
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