If you are a young athlete, the time can easily get away from you. Time management is an issue a lot of athletes have to deal with. For example, you have school which is first and foremost. That starts in the morning and you are done around 3pm.
What happens after that depends on the season for the athlete. You might have a practice. You might have a game. Either one of those could take 2 hours away from your time if you combine practicing with traveling.
You have to eat dinner. Got to replenish and refuel.
What about extra training? Do you have a specialty coach like a speed coach or a hitting instructor? That is more time taken away.
Oh yeah, you have to do homework too. Plus, coaches want their athletes to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep a night, which probably won’t happen, but that is the goal.
Now, what happens if your athlete has an extra-curricular activity? Say they want to do the school play or have some book club or something.
Finally, what about just unwinding. When can the athlete relax? What about watching their favorite TV show on Neflix? Is there time for that at all??
This is where time management comes in for the athlete. In my opinion, you have to start laying the ground work for time management at a young age. No TV, until homework is done. Something you want to watch the next night, then look at your free time beforehand to get that homework done.
Kids have to learn instead of screwing around on the computer during study hall, if they do their homework during that time, they can usually do what they want to do afterwards.
This becomes crucial when they get older. Some high level athletes have practices all the time. Whether it be early morning hours or late at night, time management is critical for the demands of a student athlete. These athletes need to make sure they get their homework done so they can get plenty of sleep for these odd practices.
My daughter has practices at all different times for basketball. Right after school. 8 o’clock. She needs to focus on what NEEDS to be done and sacrifice some of the other stuff to accomplish that.
Have a big project? Then forget the electronic games or chatting. Get a snack, look at your texts or whatever for 10 minutes, then get to it. You know your time will be eaten by dinner, practice, and showering.
You want to watch that TV show? DVR it. You can’t miss that Snapchat conversation. It doesn’t disappear until you open it so put the phone away and get what you need done, done.
Adding in specialty training or school plays, takes away even more time. Teach these athletes to look at the day in time chunks and start filling in when homework needs to be done. When you can eat. And whatever is left over, can be used for personal time.
In this day and age, time management is a crucial skill that young athletes need to develop. Personally, “I didn’t have time” doesn’t cut it. You have time, it is a matter of what your priorities are. If you want to be successful, not just in sports, but in life, you have to prioritize truly what is valuable to your long-term success.
If you can get them to understand about time management at this young age, then you will be creating a skill that will help them out for a very long time.
Photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/