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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Lafferty’s hard work in classroom pays dividends with success on the course

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(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Graduate student Aidan Lafferty got on the team bus heading back to campus from a fall practice. Instead of thinking about his game or starting conversations with the other team members, he opens his laptop and chips away at his accounting homework.

Lafferty said he wants to do it to stay ahead as a student-athlete.

“I would much rather be talking with the team, but it boils down to being extremely regimented with planning out time to work,” Lafferty said. “Sometimes that time doesn’t come sitting at a desk, but instead on the road, in the van or plane.”

Lafferty’s ability to balance his academic and athletic sides has been a reason why he has earned Big East All-Academic Honors in back-to-back seasons.

Now in graduate school, working on his MBA, Lafferty has used his experience with school and golf to plan how he balances his two passions. While some challenges present themselves, he feels fulfilled as a student-athlete.

“[School and sports] fill my buckets, my passions,” Lafferty said. “I’ve always felt that my two priorities and passions were golf and academics, which I want to excel at. I constantly feel like both pursuits fulfill me, and I consider myself grateful for both because it’s a privilege many people don’t have the opportunity to endeavor upon.”

While Lafferty can pursue his passions, some challenges have made it hard for school and golf to coexist, such as missing classes to having jam-packed, 12-hour tournament days.

Nevertheless, he wants the marriage between the two to work on tournament days, too.

“It’s essential to stay ahead with school because there are plenty of days when you’re on the road, and it’s not feasible to work on a three-page essay or whatever the assignment might be,” Lafferty said. “On tournament days, you wake up at 5:30 for breakfast, go warm up, play 36 holes, and you’re done at 7:00 p.m. before you eat dinner. Then, of course, you want to get to bed early to play well tomorrow, but homework must also fit in. So planning those packed days is so crucial.”

Assistant coach Jace Long said the coaching staff helps the team members with their planning through the HabitShare app.

“We instill these daily habits that we run through the app HabitShare, and they cross things off their list every single day that they need to do to be successful and manage their time,” Long said. “Our guys do 168s, where they plan every hour weekly.”

On top of pushing HabitShare, Lafferty said the coaches make time in busy tournament week schedules for players to finish school work.

“Leading up to the tournament, Coach Bailey will segment out time for us to do some work on our own before we have any obligations for golf, which is helpful,” Lafferty said. “He does a phenomenal job handling everyone’s balance. We all have different schedules with classes, and he balances practice to give everybody the most efficient route for balancing practice and school.”

Long said combining both school and sports feels like a full-time job.

“With golf, you’re working a full-time job much different than a regular student without the athletic responsibility,” Long said. “All our traveling and outdoor practices make it tough on the guys, so it’s important for them to learn how to manage their time. It’s cool to see the younger guys and the first-years come in and learn quickly how important it is to plan out every hour of their day.”

Senior Josh Robinson said Lafferty’s hard work in the classroom pays off.

“Aidan is one of, if not the smartest guy on the team, and he is someone you don’t have to worry about in the classroom because he is always getting his stuff done,” Robinson said. “He sets aside the time to get stuff done, and his laptop never leaves him when he travels. He is a good example of someone who works ahead and frees him up on the golf course, knowing he has all his work done and can go out and play golf.”

Lafferty said his school work is comparable to golf through the preparation both require.

“We have a mantra that goes along the lines of failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and that is present on the golf side that translates because when it comes to tournament time, we can show how hard we’ve worked,” Lafferty said. “With school, it comes down to the same thing. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you don’t prepare correctly, and it comes down to having the discipline to work on something every day.”

This story was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at [email protected] or @hilsontrevor on Twitter.

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About the Contributor
Trevor Hilson, Sports Audio Producer
Trevor Hilson is from Muskegon, Michigan and he is a journalism major. He is the Sports Audio Producer for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, he plays a lot of golf and gives lessons to his friends. He is excited for the national championship banner going into the Fiserv rafters for men's hoops at the start of next season.

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