Seven Tips for Student Athletes

5 min read
Check out this article featuring in USA Today which advises of seven tips to help student-athletes improve on their game, grades and relationships: Seven Tips to help student Athletes improve their game, grades and relationships (Article by Kelly Clayton) You wake up sore in the morning from the 300 yard sprints you did the day before. You are in classes all day, rush to the locker room at 3:30 p.m. to get changed and ready for your 3:45 practice, which lasts for three hours. You quickly eat dinner before heading to a group project meeting, then lead your residents in a hall meeting at 8:00 finding yourself starting your homework at 10:00. This is a typical day for many student-athletes across the nation. Whatever division they play in, student-athletes are mini-superheroes. They (typically) are phenomenal at prioritizing, time management and keeping their energy to last them from 8 a.m. ’til midnight (for the most part). In order to keep your head straight on and off the field, court, course, etc. here are some tips that all student-athletes can use in everyday life to improve their game, grades, relationships and life. 1. Routine, routine, routine Being a student-athlete usually forces you to have a daily routine, which really is the best thing for you. Keeping a daily routine keeps your work, practice and social life in order. Along with having a routine, it’s also a good idea to stay organized and make to-do lists. To-do lists are a great way to keep all the things you have to do in order and so you can prioritize which things need to be accomplished first. Student-athletes tend to become overwhelmed sometimes, so it is important to keep your routines in order. 2. Eight hours a day keeps the losing away During the season you are playing your sport, whether it’s practice or games, around six days a week. Without sleeping, your lack of energy will shine through during practice and can affect the rest of your team. While you may be saying “eight hours of sleep is impossible!” it really isn’t. If you have a routine (see above) then that should factor in eight hours of rest. If eight really is impossible for you, shoot for seven. But please try for eight on game days! 3. Stay in shape all year Once the season has ended, the thought of relaxing and enjoying your extra free time is extremely nice. And yes, it is wise to give your body a week or so to recover from the endless beating it took from the past few months. But, after your week of leisure is over, get back to the gym! Coaches are always preaching how it is easier to stay in shape then to get back into shape, and it’s the truth. Staying in shape doesn’t have to be as rigorous as your daily practices were, and it doesn’t need to take as long either. Instead just go to the gym for an hour and do some cardio and weights. Staying in shape can be as minimum as riding a bike for 30 minutes four times a week! 4. Use your coaches It depends what school you go to and how big your team is but many student-athletes admit to being scared of their coaches and go all four years without building a relationship with them. Don’t do that. Don’t be scared of your coach. They were once student-athletes too and know what you are going through. Your coaches jobs are to be mentors to you, so use them. If you are having a problem with school, home or anything else go to them and tell them your struggles. Don’t feel pressure to become friends with your coach, but feel free to use them for their vast knowledge about your sport and connections. 5. Make meal time, friends time During the season it is hard to make time for friends other than teammates. If your roommate is a non-student-athlete and you find yourself never seeing them, then the solution is to make meal-time friend-time. Every student-athlete should be eating at least three meals a day, so why not utilize your time and eat with your friends you never see. Set up breakfast, lunch and dinner dates with your non-student-athlete friends to catch up on life. This tip not only gets you into good eating habits but also lets you unwind and have a social life. 6. Love your teammates Your teammates and you have a connection like no other because you all love your sport. Being a college student-athlete, you have made a commitment to a sport saying that you don’t want to give up playing yet. This commitment is what you and your team all have in common. While being on a team can heighten competition and jealousy for starting spots and such, it is important to love your teammates. If you love your teammates and encourage them everyday they will do the same for you. A team that loves and plays together wins, which is (of course) the ultimate goal! 7. Give it your all, every single day This final tip really hits home with me because I just finished my senior year season playing field hockey at the Division III level. I can’t stress it enough how important it is for all student-athletes to give it your all everyday. Whether you had an awful day or not, when you step onto the field, course, court, etc. you are there to play. The truth about many sports is that after college most student-athletes will never play at the same competitive level again, so you have four years to give it your all, play with no regrets and be the best player you can be.

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