How To Combine Sports With Academics And Other Extra-Curricular Activities

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How To Combine Sports With Academics And Other Extra-Curricular Activities

Last week was a busy week for my daughter.  

She was in the school play which ran this past weekend. She was also part of something called Battle of the Books. Basically, it’s like “In The Know” except it is schools battling over answering questions about a ton of books they read. She also had tests and homework among other things needing to be done during the week.  

With all those activities going on, she also had to get in practice for track. There’s also the speed and strength training you need to get in to better yourself as an athlete? It could be a bit demanding for a teenager.

With all that was going on, she said, “Why don’t you write about the demands of combining student life with an athlete.”

I think my response was, “I could write about that, but you probably won’t like my suggestions on how to handle it.”

Being a coach, I really forget sometimes about homework, studies, choir practice, etc. If it doesn’t relate with sports then I don’t want to hear about it. Even as a parent, I sometimes want to put those things to the side. But to my kids’ credit, they do all their work and get good grades to not make me worry about that a whole lot.

My answer to this problem is rather simple. Get organized!

This is the perfect time for a young person to learn this skill. You have things you need to do and things you want to do. What takes precedence and what will you have to sacrifice to get those things done?

You can make a quick list of the things you need to do:

  • Sport practice.
  • Play practice.
  • Homework.
  • Studying for tests.
  • School projects.
  • Band practice.
  • Speed and strength training.  (This could be a WANT, but if you want to be great at your craft it needs to be a NEED.)
  • Games/Recitals/Opening Night/Etc.

You get the point. Kids could have a lot on their plate. So, you need to organize your free time and take advantage of it.  hose practices and games should be built into your schedule. You got to get to those in.  

Then you need to look at your daily schedule. Take advantage of your free periods and get your homework done. Start studying for tests. Start studying for those tests in advance. The more you can get done ahead of time, the better you can fit this stuff in.

The items you WANT to do could be watching Netflix, catching up with your friends for a movie, surfing the internet, etc. You know what those items are. These are lounging items. You might have to sacrifice some of these in order to get the items down that you NEED to do. They might have to be put off until your schedule becomes less hectic. This will be tough for kids.

If that is the case, so be it. Sacrifices have to be made in order to accomplish things of greatness.

In my mind, that is what you have to learn to do. Budget your time accordingly. Look well in advance to see what you can get done to allow you to do other things. Sacrifice some of your “fun” items or better yet, put them off until later.

There might be weeks where you are really busy that some of the NEED items have to be delayed. But, if you can prepare and look ahead, get the bare minimum in and then the next week get back on track. If you can learn this skill now, it will pay off for you later in life with more pressing concerns then just sports, the school play, and your studies.

Photo courtesy of CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/83633410@N07/

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