Do you dream of playing sports in college, but aren’t sure if you can juggle your workload and a team? It is possible to excel both on and off the field, but you will have to manage your time carefully.
It is an honor to be able to play a sport at the college level. For those who have the opportunity, it can be a dream come true. However, being an athlete and managing school work can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. Students often fear grades will suffer if they play sports in college, and with that can come suspension from the team. However, getting kicked off the team for poor grades is completely avoidable if you take the right precautions and always put your school work first.
So, how exactly will you manage it all?
Time management is perhaps one of the most important skills to learn. When you are playing a sport in college, you should use most of your free time to stay on top of your school work. You should even try to get ahead if you know you will be traveling for a game.
Julia Lauria, a senior lacrosse player at St. John Fisher College (www.sjfc.com) says, “It is important to plan accordingly depending on practice and game schedules. I always plan ahead. If I know I will have some free time the next day, I will use it to do homework instead of going home and sleeping or relaxing.”
Plan your schedule according to how much of a course load you know you can handle. Many student athletes will take more classes or harder classes during their off-season semester. This way, you will not be as stressed or have as much of a commitment to your school work during the season.
Procrastination can be the worst trait to develop when you are in college — athlete or not. Tomorrow quickly turns into the next day, and then the next day until it’s too late. So, it is always important to get as much work done as possible in order to avoid it building up and you becoming overwhelmed.
When playing a college sport, there is a lot of adjustment that will need to take place. Your weekends will not typically be as free as they are in high school. Compared to high school sports, many of your games will take place during the weekends and this means you could be traveling to a location that is hours away for the entire weekend. Kaylee Lekki, a senior softball player at St. John
Fisher College, said this was the hardest part to get used to in college. “When I was a freshman it took a lot of getting used to. I wasn’t used to being away every weekend. Therefore, I needed to use my time more wisely…I needed to constantly keep up with my homework instead of falling behind.”
Have you noticed a theme yet? The key to success as a college athlete is time management! Plan ahead, discipline yourself and make use of your free time to focus on your studies. After all, you are in college to earn your degree, and while playing a sport can be fun (and exciting!) you will need to keep your focus on doing well both on and off the field.
Alexandria Suto is a freelance writer and recent graduate of St. John Fisher College (www.sjfc.edu).