There are about 460,000 student athletes in the United States. If you’re reading this, you are likely one of them, and you’re struggling to balance it all.
As a college athlete myself, I get the struggle. Your classes are demanding, and the sport you love is equally demanding. Our schedules are not the same as a normal student. Ideally, you want to succeed in both areas instead of barely getting by in either.
It’s a lot to handle, especially if you have a scholarship that depends on your academic or athletic performance. That’s why I am going to share three essential tips to help you balance sports and academics.
3 Tips To Balance Sports and Academics
Don’t try to do it all
To achieve success, you can’t spread yourself too thin. I know, college is the first time you are living on your own and having so many new experiences. You want to do it all, and you never want to say no to anything.
However, if you try to do it all, you will burn out. You’re going to have to say no to some things. To balance academics and athletics, you need to prioritize what is important.
To do this more effectively, you have to get good at time management. Don’t just keep your entire to-do list in your head. Get a calendar (digital or physical) and plan everything out.
At the beginning of each semester, put these in your calendar:
- Due dates for assignments
- Test dates
- Study sessions
- Game days
- Practice time
Importantly, it’s helpful to actually schedule out your free time. Time for rest, recovery, and fun is still important.
Use the resources you have
Your college wants you to succeed in both sports and academics. Many colleges and universities have support services designed specifically for student athletes.
This can include:
- study groups
- workshops about time management and study strategies
Be proactive and take advantage of these resources before you start feeling overwhelmed. It’s also a good idea to talk to your professors about your athletic schedules. Professors want to help you as much as possible, as long as you proactively work with them. College staff is on your side, so reach out to this support system.
Your brain can’t only be in “academic achievement” or “athletic performance” mode all the time. Having fun and having rest are so important to avoid burning out and getting injured. You need to do what you can to protect your mental and physical health.
It’s easy as a college student to stay up late with your friends all the time. So many college students already struggle to get enough sleep and eat nutritious food. Make sure you get a handle on these things.
Get involved in some activities outside of academics and sports, even if it’s for a brief period of time. Getting some relaxation time and spending time on your other hobbies is so important for your well-being.