Jocks and creatives are the archetypical high school rivals whose worlds do not intersect. As Academy of Art University in San Francisco would show, however, the portrayal of artists and athletes as polar opposites cannot be any farther from the truth.
The important characteristics that contribute to success in every walk of life can be learned through athletic or artistic pursuits. In fact, the same positive attributes generally drive participants to both sports and art. Though they may not seem like essential parts of preparing for life, playing sports and creating art cultivate distinct, yet very similar strengths.
Lessons from Artistic & Athletic Endeavors
As the following information makes clear, art and athletics have more in common than beginning with the letter ‘A’.
Here are some of the more worthwhile similarities between the two student types that most folks don’t realize.
The Ability to Process Criticism
While natural talent may lend some people an advantage in sports or art, the skills required to excel in both have to be taught by a coach, instructor, or mentor. And a large part of that teaching comes in the form of criticism.
Some leaders know how to soften their critiques, but most simply deliver a judgment along with how to take corrective measures. Either way, successful artists and athletes must learn to have a thick skin, accept all forms with equal gratitude, and use advice to their advantage.
Solid Time-Management Skills
“Practice makes perfect,” or so the old adage goes. And practice takes time, but there are only so many hours in the day for one to focus solely on art or sports. This means using time wisely and setting priorities. While there may be some essential responsibilities to be met, there are also many other things that can easily intrude into the budding artist’s or athlete’s time.
Developing solid time management skills allows for meeting the essentials, while still investing significant time in artistic or athletic endeavors. According to another adage, we make time for what we deem important. This is essentially true, and good time management allows us to do it.
Effective Communication Skills
To succeed in athletics and art, one must remember that communication is a two-way street. We must be able to discuss and ask questions about our pursuits in order to learn; but we also must develop the practiced skill of listening and hearing what is being said.
Listening and understanding what is heard must come first, before intelligent questions or conversations can be shared. Of course, certain communication skills are required to explain your projects and ensure that you are understood. But with art or sports, most people find it easy to speak at length about their passion.
Sound Organizational Skills
Organization is a basic key to success in any endeavor, and even more so in complex pursuits like art and athletics. Each pathway requires instruction, materials, and specific tools of the trade. These must be accumulated over time, used, cared for, repaired, transported, and stored. Time constraints and deadlines must be met. Presentations must be constructed and demonstrated.
Without some sort of systematic, orderly plan, no artistic or athletic project could ever be completed. While both sports and art can be messy at times, this is not the same as being disorganized and hopelessly lost without a sound process.
A Healthy Ambition
If there is one single thing that should bring high school athletes and artists together, it is their sense of ambition. For both, it is their drive to create something, to become something or someone of significance, that starts them down the path they have chosen. In this way, both athletes and artists are completely the same.
Healthy ambition drives athletes and artists to achieve all the above traits. Ambition helps you accept the harshest criticism. Ambition compels you to manage your time wisely. Ambition pushes you to become better organized. And ambition encourages you to communicate with anyone who can contribute to your success.
Academy of Art University Proudly Combines Art & Athletes
Academy of Art University is the only higher arts education institution among the 1,117 colleges and universities in the United States to have an
Competing specifically within NCAA Division II and the Pacific West Conference, the ART U Urban Knights are made up of 16 collegiate sports teams:
|Women’s Soccer||Men’s Soccer|
|Women’s Tennis||Men’s Track & Field (I&O)|
|Women’s Track & Field (I&O)||Men’s Basketball|
|Women’s Volleyball||Men’s Baseball|
|Women’s Basketball||Men’s Golf|
|Women’s Softball||Men’s Cross Country|
|Women’s Cross Country|
The program was created in 2007 and made its competitive debut on August 29, 2008. The Urban Knights received full-fledged NCAA Division II membership on July 12, 2012 and went on to become the first athletic program to win two NCAA National Championships (Indoor & Outdoor Women’s Track & Field) in its first year of postseason eligibility. The Urban Knights have since made over 40 post-season appearances including Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field, Men’s and Women’s Golf, and Women’s Tennis.
Notable Student Athlete Highlights
Track & Field
London-born Canadian Mobolade Ajomale is on Academy of Art University Men’s Track & Field team. He has six NCAA Division II National Titles under his belt and is an 11-time All-American. At the 2018 Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, he also became the second Division II athlete to win the 60m and 200m in consecutive years.
Moreover, in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Summer Olympics, Ajomale ran on the Canadian team and participated in the 4x100m relay. With a time of 37.89 seconds, his team won the coveted bronze medal.
“Getting the gold is definitely my goal,” Ajomale said. “Winning a bronze medal was an unbelievable experience but I want to go back to the Olympics, Tokyo 2020.”
Between the fall and spring golf seasons, ART U Men’s Golf team members Lawrence Liang and Jose Lopez Butron collaborated on a commercial project for Adidas. They then submitted their video ad project to the Student Division of the American Advertising Awards.
The ad, titled “Never Walk Away,” featured women athletes and the struggles that they regularly face in the sports arena. With its strong message of empowerment, the ad garnered national attention as an official nominee for multiple honors at the Addy Awards.
Men’s & Women’s Basketball
While ART U softball swept the field, the ART U men’s basketball team defeated Holy Names 77-71. Senior guard, Cobe Williams, hit 10/10 free throws and Junior forward Andrija “Dre” Blatancic scored the team 18 points.
ART U women’s basketball beat Holy Names 67-60 with seconds to spare. Freshman Chanel Stuart earned her second PacWest Freshman of the Week honor after sending in the final shot right at the buzzer, bringing her point total to 19 for the game.
Get the Best of Both Worlds at Academy of Art University
Academy of Art University sees the synergy between art and athletes and actively promotes both as complementary pursuits that prepare students for later success. Why choose one or the other, when you can have both at Academy of Art University?