UConn’s student-athletes are often lauded for their on-field achievements, but there’s an equally important – often unseen – dimension to the student-athlete. UConn Today is publishing a series of profiles to highlight the academic prowess of these student-athletes. Follow along as we profile two athletes each month, and provide an inside look at the academic pursuits of these high-achieving student-athletes.
Scott Levene ’17 (BUS)
Hometown and high school: Stamford, Connecticut; New Canaan High School
Sport: Men’s Soccer, goalkeeper
Area of study: Marketing
Anticipated graduation: December 2017
If you could attend a professional soccer game, who would you go see? I would go watch Manchester United at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. They are my favorite team, and I have been following them since I was 8. Their stadium is beautiful and the crowd is exciting. Some of my favorite players have played and continue to play on Manchester United.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a student-athlete? The biggest challenge I face as a student-athlete is balancing school work, athletics, and my personal life. Finding time to dedicate to my academics is tricky with the demands of college sports. I have spent many late nights finishing up my homework or studying for tests because of how busy my days are. Soccer demands a lot of hours on the field, in the gym, and watching video. Finding the energy to dedicate myself fully to everything I do for soccer and for academics is very challenging. Also, finding a little bit of time for a social life outside of sports and academics adds to the difficulty of being a student-athlete.
Being a good student is just as important as being a good athlete. … Becoming a well-rounded person is one of the most important things you can do. — Scott Levene
What importance does the coaching staff at UConn place on your academic success? The coaching staff puts tremendous effort into helping us with our academics. They make sure we have everything sorted out in the classroom before anything takes place on the field. Coach Reid and the other coaches support us fully in school, and go to great lengths to help us with anything we might need academically. Part of the reason that makes this program so great is the emphasis that we put on school.
Being a goalkeeper is a high-pressure position! How do you deal with that pressure, and what has it taught you about your own personal limits? I try to break things up and deal with one thing at a time. I’ve learned that it is better to look at games in short five-minute periods. Rather than focusing on the entire 90 minutes, it helps me if I can break up the game and really focus on each specific play. Once a play is over, I try not to think about it until after the game. This technique – and being a goalkeeper – has taught me how to remain calm in high-pressure situations, and shows me that I can accomplish anything if I have a clear mind. Not dwelling on the past and focusing on the present is a big part of how I cope with the pressure.
What has been your favorite class so far? Why? It’s hard to pick one class that is my clear favorite. I would say that my two favorite classes at UConn have been Marketing 3452 Professional Selling, and Management 3101 Managerial Interpersonal Behavior. Both classes taught me how to relate to different kinds of people and come up with solutions to make both parties successful. Professional Selling introduced me to real-life scenarios and gave me the opportunity to play out actual marketing situations. Managerial Interpersonal Behavior tied team building exercises and learning how to lead people from diverse backgrounds into the class, making it much different from other classes I took. Managing different people relates to being a goalkeeper in soccer. Being able to communicate with my teammates, who are from various part of the world, has been something I have had to adapt to since coming to UConn. These classes have given me different outlooks and solutions on how best to help my teammates.
Describe someone you’ve met here who has already impacted your future. Someone at UConn I admire greatly, and who has taught me a lot, is Coach West. He approaches every day with tremendous enthusiasm and works very hard at his job. He tries to learn as much as he can, and gives every student-athlete the same level of attention. He has taught me that it’s not enough just to do something well one time, but it’s important to get up every day and do it to the best of your ability.
I understand you were an assistant coach at Ray Reid Soccer Camp. What words of encouragement would you share with aspiring student-athletes? My advice to any younger or aspiring student-athletes would be to work as hard as you can at everything you do. Being a good student is just as important as being a good athlete. It is very important to push yourself as hard as you can, and test your limits both in the classroom and on the field. Becoming a well-rounded person is one of the most important things you can do. It’s not always going to be easy and there will be a lot of bumps on the way, but if you work hard enough, good things will come.
What does it mean to you to be a Husky? Being a UConn Husky is something I’ve dreamed of since I was 5 years old. I’ve lived in Connecticut my whole life, and grew up watching all UConn sports. Once I knew soccer was for me, I knew that the only school I wanted to go to was UConn. Being a Husky gives me tremendous pride and comes with a lot of responsibility. As a Husky, it’s my job to represent the school and the Men’s Soccer program to the best of my ability – in the classroom, on the field, and in the community. UConn is a place full of pride for the school, and is a large family filled with past and present Huskies.
Where are you headed after graduation? I’m not sure yet. I would like to continue playing soccer. If that doesn’t work out, then I will find a job and maybe even pursue a master’s degree.