Young Athlete Challenges: Balancing Pro Training, School and Play
Although playing sports can be very beneficial, it can also lead to many young athlete challenges. Student athletes may feel a lot of pressure to play well while still maintaining good grades and helping out with chores around the house. Here are some ways young athletes can balance sports and school and still have free time.
Use a Calendar
When you have a lot on your plate, it’s helpful to utilize a calendar. Whether it’s a paper calendar or one on your smartphone, a calendar can help you plan each week and remind you when you have practice and when school projects are due. If a parent is in charge of activities, posting a physical calendar in the kitchen (on the fridge) or by the door is a good way everyone stays on the same page.
Waiting until the last minute to study for tests or do homework is a big mistake. If you procrastinate, you may do poorly in your classes and have to skip practices to catch up on your school work. Even if a homework assignment or project is difficult or tedious, get started on it as soon as possible so that you aren’t scrambling to finish it at the last minute. Remember, you are a student athlete – being a student comes first.
Stop Thinking of Your Sport as Work
When practices and games take up a large chunk of your time, one of the most common young athlete challenges is that you may start to think of your sport as a chore. That’s why it’s important to constantly remind yourself of how much playing a sport benefits your physical and mental health. When you are playing your sport or training for it, you are able to take your mind off the stress of school and other aspects of your busy life.
Use Your Weekends Wisely
One of the biggest young athlete challenges is managing your time. One way to deal with this challenge is to use your weekends constructively. Instead of just lying around and watching TV, spend some time preparing for the upcoming week. Get a head start on projects and homework that is due next week.
Remember to Make Time for Fun
Although it’s important to be dedicated to your sport and your school work, you still should take out time every week to spend time with your family and friends. It will help you unwind for a bit and forget about the stresses of everyday life.
If you follow these tips, you can tackle common young athlete challenges and reduce your stress.