How to Manage Time as a Student Athlete

I wish I could say this is the easiest thing in the world to do, but it’s not!

Some people may think athletes have the advantage in the classroom and get everything handed to them. I can vouch that being a student and an athlete is way harder than being a “regular” student.

A student athlete must have good time-management skills in order to excel in the classroom and their sport.

Prioritize Practice

In order to be successful in your sport, you must first make it a priority. I’m sure almost every athlete in the world has said, “I’m sorry, I can’t make it; I have practice.” Not being able to have fun like my friends made me sad. I knew in order to get better, I would have to sacrifice my time. Being committed to the sport and working hard will help you see great results. To be good at what you do, you have to continue to work at it to see improvements. Also, having a set practice schedule will help you to stay consistent and stay on top of assignments.

Use a Schedule

     Work smarter, not harder. Having tools like a planner or calendar will help you to stay organized. Using these tools can help you to remember deadlines and help you plan your other activities around practice and school work. Using a schedule, helped me to not lose track of what assignments I had due. This will help you to know when to study prior to tests and decide what assignments are more important. Organization is a key to having great time-management skills.

Study in Advance

     Just as practice improves your skills, studying will improve your grades. Waiting until the last minute to study will lead to poor grades. A technique that helps me is closing all of my social media apps until I get all my work done. Avoiding procrastination will help get work done on time so you have time to relax and enjoy other hobbies. Procrastination will affect your sleep schedule, cut into your me time, and have a negative impact on academics and athletics. So, when you get a big assignment from your professor, get started on it right away! As an athlete you do not want to risk having bad grades and not being eligible for your sport. Student athletes must keep their grades up and maintain a certain g.p.a to play their sport. Knowing this can be used as motivation to stay on top of work and study in advance.

Don’t Overwhelm Yourself with Many Responsibilities

Balancing other activities with school and athletics can be a handful. Don’t stress yourself trying to make commitments to clubs, jobs, or other extracurricular activities. Overwhelming yourself with many things can be exhausting, causing you to drink energy drinks just to get through the day. Having a job took a toll on me during the season; I missed important practices and had to catch up on my skills. Before you decide to join an organization, make sure it fits your schedule and won’t overlap with your two top priorities, school and your sport.

Consistent Sleep Schedule

Keeping a consistent sleep schedule will help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. For an athlete, getting your rest is very important because you relax your muscles and give fuel to your body to keep going. Sleeping is very important to me because not having my beauty rest will make me cranky. Having a healthy sleep schedule will help you stay on track and get things done on time. This will also help your academic and athletic performance.

Managing Time During the Off-Season

Having good time-management skills are just as important during the off-season. Now that the season for your sport has ended, you can take advantage of the free time you will have. You have to focus on being a student rather than being an athlete now. Instead of going out to party, try to get an early start on assignments. Perfecting your craft is very important during the off-season; you can focus on improving what you are weak at. Go do things that you couldn’t do during the season like getting your passport for summer vacation. Enjoy your time off-season because when the season comes back around, you will have to get back to work.

Managing your time will help you succeed as a student athlete and later on in life.


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Jashyree Bell

My name is Jashyree Bell and I am currently a freshmen at Stephens College. I am majoring in Integrative Human Biology. I love to run, draw, and hang out with friends.

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