7 Tips on How to Balance School and Sports for Young Athletes

As a young athlete, you’re probably already aware of the advantages that sports can have on you as a student.

Sports participation has many mental health benefits like improved focus and a boost in your self-confidence. You are learning life lessons like discipline, teamwork, and responsibility; all of which will also help you become a better student.
With all these benefits, you’ve decided to commit to playing sports and do well in your studies but ask yourself how you can manage both. Being a good student and good athlete are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible to juggle sports and school and even excel at both.
Success in both academics and athletics comes down to drive and desire. Here are some tips on how you can balance both:

1. Assess your priorities
We’re not saying that you should determine which holds precedence between your studies or sports. You are a student first after all.

Ask yourself if there are classes that you naturally do well in. Knowing which are your weaker subjects and which require more of your effort will tell you which subjects you should be focusing more of your study time on.

Your school, like most, have GPA requirements for you to participate in their school athletics program. If you do not perform well in class, you may not be allowed to perform on the field either. It would be a shame to lose both.

2. Create a system
When your school day is over, you probably run off to practice. And your day doesn’t end when practice is over. To balance sports and studies, you need to learn how to manage your time.
Create a system that works for you. Plan ahead. You can use a physical calendar or use an app on your smartphone to stay organized and keep track of the days, game schedules, and due dates of your assignments.

3. Use your weekends wisely.
You’re meant to unwind on the weekends. But as someone who has committed to both
sports and studies, you can also use this time to catch up on schoolwork or even do some advanced reading.

4. Don’t procrastinate.
What you don’t do today just ends up on tomorrow’s plate. And when that happens, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to accomplish everything in one sitting.

5. Make the most of free periods and study halls.
These times are great for you to catch up on research, papers or projects. Being in the school environment will  get your mind in student mode. You can utilize school resources like the library and even your school’s tutor program, if there is one.

6.  Know when to stop.
Don’t overwhelm yourself.
Stay healthy. Wearing yourself out at practice or staying up all night to finish a paper can take its toll on you. You won’t be any good to your team on game day if you’re not in peak condition. Likewise, how can you concentrate in class if you are drained physically and emotionally?
Know your limits and don’t attempt to exceed them.

7. Seek advice from your teammates.

Maybe you’ve got teammates that seem to have it all together. They’re acing all their classes and outperforming everyone at practice. While juggling both sports and school comes naturally to some young athletes, there are those who have simply found the balance by creating a system that works for them.

Ask your peers how they manage their time. You never know, but one of their tips may work for you too.