With the rising numbers of student athletes, especially in our area, it is becoming more and more important for students to learn time management skills and efficient study habits. Back in the day, it was common for star athletes to get through school simply because they needed the grades to remain on the team and often times teachers would give them the bare minimum to ensure just that. These days, that is not an option. Sports are more competitive, academics are more competitive, and with the rising costs of college tuition, many athletes find themselves looking for scholarships just so that they can further their education. These pressures make it all the more important to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle to ensure our student athlete’s success.
During school hours, there is little more to do besides being present in class and taking notes. Most students have a study hall or some sort of free period during which time they are encouraged to work on homework and ask their teachers questions. This period is often used by students as a time to unwind, however, this time can be invaluable to a student athlete. When caught in the never ending cycle of classes, practices, and tournaments, it is important that student athletes get the best of both worlds. If they have no down time, they will not be able to perform as efficiently if their brain has no time to rest. Studies have shown that the best way to study is to introduce a 15-minute break into study time. This allows them to do a little bit of unwinding as well as helping their brain to absorb the information.
State finals are coming up and you know your team is in. How do you proceed to ensure your school work isn’t a thought on the court? Give your teachers the heads up. You should always give your teachers/professors a copy of your schedule as soon as you get it, but don’t forget to remind them when you have something particularly important coming up. The same idea applies to club season. Let them know ahead of time when you’ll have away tournaments so that they can better help you prepare for a busy weekend. Many teachers will give you assignments ahead of time so that you have the time to give it your best effort. If you feel things starting to slip or even if you foresee an event or assignment being particularly stressful it never hurts to ask for help. Letting your teachers know what’s going on in your life will always be the best policy.
The most important thing to remember as a student athlete is that the time management skills that are asked of you sometimes evade even the most responsible adult, so don’t forget to cut yourself a little bit of slack. If you get overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to take a step back, take a deep breath, and regroup. Always remember, as tough as it may get at times, if you love what you do, it will always be worth it.