Jacob Tooke, Leaders in Elite Athletics and Performance program (LEAP) mountain biker, explains why he chose Quest and how the school helps him pursue top-level biking while earning his degree.

What’s your Question?

How do we train mental toughness? I’m exploring sports psychology and exercise physiology, examining where they cross over, and how we can use one to support the other.

That blends perfectly with your mountain biking! What made you choose Quest?

Actually, Quest was the only school I applied for! The academic structure is what hooked me, but what really solidified my choice was the LEAP program and the accessibility to the outdoors. It’s not often you find a university in the heart of a world-class trail network!

I was looking for something I couldn’t find at traditional institutions. As I pursued competitive skiing throughout high school, I was lucky to be in the high-performance program, which allowed me to take the majority of my classes online. Without knowing it, the structure was similar to Quest’s Block Plan as I was fully immersed in one class at a time.

That’s awesome, Jacob! And how did you hear about LEAP?

After attending a talk at my high school’s post-secondary info night, I was looking more into Quest and came across the LEAP scholarship on the Quest website. It was amazing! At the time, I didn’t know it was possible to get a scholarship for riding my bike, as you typically associate athletics with varsity team sports.

And how does being a LEAP member help with your studies?

It’s really allowed me to take opportunities that I would’ve had to otherwise make sacrifices for. The best example I can think of is my 2019 race season. Season begins in March, and LEAP has allowed me to take off two Blocks. My riding friends at different universities were forced to choose between taking off an entire semester or missing the first two races. I didn’t have to choose.

Overall, as someone balancing school and athletics, time management is something I think about daily. How can I make the most out of every day? On a larger scale, LEAP allows me to manage my education. I’m able to take the most classes I can throughout the year…all while still competing!

What’s your favorite thing about LEAP?

My favorite part about the program is the community of athletes and performers it is composed of. I find it inspiring to see the goals and achievements of the other LEAP students. I also think it’s awesome how many different sports and talents are represented.

What’s one piece of advice for athletes who are looking to attend university?

The best advice I can think of is finding a way to manage your time well. Not in the cliché student-athlete mantra of being busy all the time and referring to your life as ‘the grind,’ but in the way that you make every moment count. It goes by quick!

Oh, and if any mountain bikers look at this and are considering Quest, I will give you a tour of the trails after you tour the campus!

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