GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As thousands of basketball fans pack Greensboro Coliseum for this year's ACC tournament, student athletes take center stage.
It’s a life Stephanie Barrett lived for three years while in college.
"From running to lifting to conditioning to skills practice, there was always something on the calendar," Barrett said.
She played Division 1 and Division 3 softball.
A sport she picked up when she was eight.
"It was very busy, very hectic and not a lot of down time," she said.
She put away her glove and softball bat in 2012 after graduating and becoming a personal trainer.
She's now a grad student at UNCG, working on her master's degree in kinesiology.
It's a life she says that was hard to adjust to after years of being an athlete.
"The loss of that piece of you is harder to figure out for sure. That's been the hardest part," she said.
Barrett deals with stiff joints and aches.
"It took a toll on my knees and my hips and my ankles," she said.
It's a reality Dr. Erin Reifsteck says many student athletes go through after graduating.
"When all of a sudden you're not competing anymore, you're not a student athlete, what does that mean and how do I cope with that?" Reifsteck asked.
Using a grant from the NCAA, Reifsteck has created the Moving On! program at UNCG.
"We want to help student athletes move on from college sports and make a healthy transition," Reifsteck said.
The program will guide students for four weeks using workshops to help them adjust into a life off the field.
A life where Reifsteck says many former athletes have spiraled into depression or physical illness.