How to Balance Sports and Academics: Tips for Young Athletes

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By Amy Taylor

Sponsored by Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center

 

Sports can demand a lot of young athletes’ time and energy. During the school year, students might find it tough to balance sports with academics. Don’t stress! Plenty of young people have achieved balance by working on time management skills that will come in handy later in life, too. We’re sharing our top strategies for balancing sports and school.

  • Be organized. Whether you use a wall calendar, student planner or the calendar on your phone, put all of your commitments down in one place. Record all practices, scrimmages and games. For school, write down due dates for projects, classwork and homework assignments. Revisit your schedule often so you can manage your time.
  • Plan your week. Once you’ve got all your commitments in one place, sit down at the beginning of the week and block time that you will spend on each task. You can be fairly certain how long games, practices and travel time to and from places will be, so you can plan your study and homework time around those blocks.
  • Use your free time wisely. During the weekend, block out some time to plan the week ahead. Get a head start on homework assignments. If you are traveling by bus or if someone else is driving, you can use your travel time to and from games and practices to work on homework. If you have a study hall or free period, use that time to get your schoolwork done.
  • Block out time to rest. Just because you’re balancing a busy schedule doesn’t mean you can’t have time for rest. Resting will actually make you more effective both on the field and at school. Block out some rest and relaxation time every day so that you can unwind, destress, let your body rest and let your mind refocus. “Schedule time away from your devices. Set a curfew for yourself or your child’s cell phone,” says Shanel Evans, Business Development Director at Competitive Edge. “It’s very easy to be tempted to scroll on social media all night, when your body really needs to rest.”
  • Don’t procrastinate. Life is so much easier when you’re ahead of schedule. While it may be tempting to put off that paper that’s due three weeks from now, using small chunks of time to work on it now will make sure procrastination doesn’t eat into your sports schedule. Avoiding procrastination will help you stay ahead of or on schedule, and it’s much easier to keep up with your work rather than play catch up.
  • If you’re still struggling to find balance, ask for help. Teachers, coaches and parents are all here to help you succeed. If you are doing your best to manage your time and you’re still struggling to accomplish everything, reach out and ask for help. A trusted adult can help you plan and prioritize to make life easier.

If you’re a young athlete looking for a great place to practice and sharpen your skills, whether by yourself or as a team, check out Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center online.

Amy Taylor ([email protected]) is a Contributing Writer for Prince William Living.

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