Balancing the Demands of Life for a High School Athlete

By the time most are out of college and into the workforce, the majority has learned a little something about how to control the stress that goes with daily life. This is not the case with most children when they’re still navigating their way through high school. The effects of stress seem to be a bit more pronounced for the high school athlete. Trying to balance good grades with good performance on the team can quickly reach critical mass for young people.

Student athletes are pressured more and more to concentrate on one sport on a year-round basis. Rather than be good in several sports, kids are being encouraged to go for greatness in only one sport. The stress associated with this push for excellence in a sport can easily overpower the necessity for doing well academically.

The secret is to find a balance between the demands of academic achievement and the rewards of sporting excellence. The best way to accomplish this is to utilize time-saving tips and strategies that allow you to achieve your goals in both sports and academics.

Get Organized

It cannot be stressed enough: organization is the key. You’ve got to get organized and stay organized. Start by getting a big calendar to keep track of your school and sports obligations. Write down when projects are due and papers have to be completed. Note the dates and times of practices and games. Check your calendar each week and make any corrections needed.

Time Management Is Crucial

When you have multiple obligations competing for your time, you have to plan out your schedule. Times you know you’ll be expected to be in a certain place at a certain time are things like class times, game times and practice dates. You’ll need to account for time to travel to and from school, as well as to and from sporting events and practices. Blocking out this time on your calendar will let you determine your actual available study time and homework time.

Plan Out Your Week

While this tip isn’t popular with most teens, it is a wise one. Use the weekend to plan out the coming week. If you know what homework assignments will be due in the coming week, get a jump-start on them. Look at your desk calendar for the coming week and note which projects are due. Are there tests scheduled? Use your weekend to start studying. Read any material you know will be covered in the coming week and plan out your practices and games for the week ahead. Remember to use your travel time to and from school, practices and games as academic time. You can review notes or read chapters during this time. You and a buddy can study together. Another useful tip is to invest in a set of earbuds and an audio book player. You can then listen to the books you’re required to read while you’re in transit.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Complete assignments as soon as they’re given whenever you can. Don’t allow yourself to get behind in your academic responsibilities. This will undoubtedly result in you missing practices or even missing games. Whether it is schoolwork, homework or sports practice, it is easier to stay ahead than catch up when you’ve been left behind.

Life Lessons Learned

Not only will these tips help get you through the rigors of high school, they can benefit you greatly when you move on to college academics. Whether you play sports or not past high school, good habits for managing your time will be a net benefit throughout your college life and beyond into the workplace.