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4 Ways Student Athletes Can Juggle Sports and School

Posted by Bethany Nock on Tue, August 31, 2021

When it comes to schooling, the regular workload can be difficult enough for many students to manage. However, students often strive for more by participating in extracurricular activities. Whether it be taking part in a theater program, becoming a member of a club or joining a team sport, balancing time and energy properly is critical to success in both areas of student life.

From the seasoned competitor to the first-time teammate, student-athletes constantly need to focus on creating a harmony of productivity, while on and off the court. To help, we have outlined four areas of focus to help you, or your student-athlete, best juggle time commitments.

Time-Management for Students

This one is the most obvious and sometimes hardest to manage because students struggle with time management. Whether you’re an athlete trying to figure out when to squeeze in time to study, finish a project or complete assignments while still making it to games and practices, or a parent trying to facilitate transportation from school to practice or game sites; time-management skills for students is a huge issue. Utilizing a personal and/or family calendar to help keep track of key dates, times and events can help increase transparency for everyone involved (which sometimes can mean the whole family).

The best time management strategy for students can be keeping a personal calendar or planner can improve success in both parts of their lives. Maintaining a list of important projects or events can improve prioritization of time allotments when planning out a busy week. Additionally, keeping note of school assignments can ensure that the academic side doesn’t slip during busy sports seasons.

Importance of Sleep for Students

When the workload is high, some students utilize the “all-nighter” to make up for the heavy volume or as a redemption attempt for poor planning, but sleep is critical to cognitive and physical performance. Sleep is important for everyone, and when students are pushing their bodies to grow athletically, sleep plays a large role in growth, repair and long-term performance. A study published by Current Sports Medicine Reports suggests sleep can have a significant influence on athletic activities by helping to improve reaction time, accuracy, endurance, strength, and more.

Furthermore, Stanford Medicine highlights how the effects of sleep deprivation on students can lead to the inability to concentrate, poor grades, drowsy-driving incidents, anxiety and even depression.

Use a Student Planner To Get Ahead

When the week ahead is jam-packed with practices and school, preparing in advance and using a student planner to plan out the week can help save time or reduce headaches later - which can really help keep things more stable for students and families. Meal prepping, pre-packing athletic gear bags with needed supplies, getting chores done early or even asking for help especially in hectic periods can all be proactive measures to make sure nothing is overlooked, and student-athlete life stays balanced.

Proper Blending

Although there is a hyphen in the phrase “Student-Athlete”, it does not mean that they are separate parts of a person. When people choose to do a sport while also being full-time students, they are taking on many challenges and responsibilities. However, that does not mean they have to completely compartmentalize their lives to fit each one separately. Embracing both and allowing for carry-over between the two activities can be beneficial. From small things like properly carrying a heavy backpack to avoid hurting athletic form, to applying physical and nutritional information learned from classes, to your training routine, blending both sides can help build that needed balance.

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