4 Tips on How to Juggle Your Student Athletes Busy Schedule
Being a student athlete is no easy feat. Schedules for child and teen sports are more intense than ever, so a good deal of time management is required to stay on top of work, study, and sports commitments. If you're a parent, these tips will show you how to help your student athletes thrive both in class and on the field.
Staying organized is essential for students who want to play sports while in school. Even young kids should be involved in the organization process. Hanging a large calendar in your home is an easy way to demonstrate the value of time management. In addition to noting the times for practices and games, include time periods each day that are dedicated to schoolwork.
Once kids reach high school, they can start to take on their own time management. Those who drive will have to start factoring the travel time to and from school, practices, and other events. They'll also have more long-term projects like papers and group presentations that they'll need make time for. Give teens a planner they can use for this purpose; it's great practice for the same skills they'll need once they're on their own in college or even on the job.
Student athletes have a lot on their plates, which is why it's important to get ahead when the chance presents itself. When a paper isn't due for a month, most students put it off for at least a week or two before getting started. But for student athletes, it makes more sense to complete that assignment ahead of time on a free weekend.
When student athletes put off long-term assignments, they get backed up with too much schoolwork at the last minute. This can lead to stress, loss of sleep, and poor academic performance. It's essential to note when extra time is available for getting a jump on upcoming assignments.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Regardless of what sport they play, student athletes expend a lot of energy on practices, games, and team meetings each week. On top of that, they're handling the same class workload as all the other students in their school. Being tired is inevitable once in awhile, but if student athletes aren't rested on a regular basis, it's bound to negatively affect both their academic and athletic performance. Sticking to a sleep schedule that guarantees enough rest every night will ensure that students are alert and eager in class and on the field.
Student athletes should take advantage of the resources available to them when balancing school and sports becomes a challenge. A school counselor can help by signing a student up for a study hall period, arranging for a tutor, or helping kids cope with stress. Coaches can arrange for team study hours to keep athletes on track. Parents can also step in by helping students get the assistance they need, whether it's academic or athletic in nature.
If you're concerned about kids getting involved with sports, don't be. Statistically, most student athletes perform better academically than kids who aren't participating in sports. That said, finding balance is key to helping these students do their best both athletically and academically.