Some students are blessed to have a gift that manifests early in their life, sparking a fierce, lifelong passion. For students who excel at sports, working to balance school and their passion can be a struggle. This article by League Network lays out seven tips for young athletes trying to juggle school and sports. Today, we’d like to share those tips, and how attending an accredited online school can help alleviate a lot of the issues student athletes encounter.
First, League Network says: Assess your priorities. This doesn’t mean prioritizing sports over school, but rather, studying your schedule much like you’d study a game tape. League Network suggests to look for subjects that come easily, and find the ones where you struggle. Having this information will shift your priorities when it’s time to study, as you’ll know where you need to spend more time. At Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences, our students own their schedules in a way unheard of in traditional schools. Since studies have shown that students excel when taking no more than 2-3 classes at a time, our students do just that. While working with a Personalized Education Coach, they’re able to assess how much time they’ll need to take each course, personalizing the length based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Great at math but struggle in science? Students may finish a math course in four to eight weeks, but map out twelve to wrap a science course, swapping a new course in once one is complete.
Second: Create a system. Student athletes juggle a lot. Due dates, games, practice, school projects, it can get overwhelming if you don’t have a system for organization and time management. Find an app or planner that works for you, and stick to it. The mental energy it will save you by keeping your life organized will be well worth the time it takes to do it. For students at an accredited online school, this becomes easier, as their time isn’t constrained to a typical school day. Work better at night? With online classes you can take anytime, anywhere, that opens your schedule up a lot.
Third: Use your weekends wisely. Remember that priority list you looked at in step one? Weekends should be a time to unwind, but they can also be a great time to get in some extra schoolwork or practice time. Try setting one or two big goals for the weekend and accomplishing them early in the day when your mind is fresh, so you can have the rest of the day free. Many of our student athletes join us because they enjoy the flexibility our program offers. Have a big game on Friday? Take the day to focus on that, and then treat Saturday like your school day.
Fourth: Don’t procrastinate. As the saying goes, “never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” Benjamin Franklin said that. And he was a pretty smart dude. Make SMART goals every day (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-focused, Time-bound) and stay on top of them so you won’t get overwhelmed. Here at CMASAS, our students work closely with their instructors and Personalized Education Coach to ensure they’re staying on track.
Fifth: Make the most of free periods and study halls. These are resources students should take full advantage of. Of course, if you attend an online school like CMASAS, you’re in control of your schedule, meaning you set your own hours based off your individual needs. This flexibility and control is a powerful tool for student performers learning how to take ownership over their passions and lives.
Sixth: Know when to stop. League Network says: “Wearing yourself out at practice or staying up all night to finish a paper can take its toll on you. You won’t be any good to your team on game day if you’re not in peak condition. Likewise, how can you concentrate in class if you are drained physically and emotionally? Know your limits and don’t attempt to exceed them.” At CMASAS, students have a full calendar year to complete their coursework, instead of the traditional ten month school year. This gives student athletes more flexibility and flux time to compete both athletically and academically at the highest level.
Lastly, League Network says: Seek advice from your teammates. Look for any of your peers who seem to have their balancing act down, and ask for tips. Chances are, you’ll get some good ideas and life-hacks to help you with your own performance. At CMASAS, our students socialize through homerooms and both regional and international gatherings. This global exposure gives our students the opportunity to see how students all over the world are excelling in their passions.
Here at CMASAS, we believe that dreams have no bar that reads: “must be eighteen to ride.” We are proud to host a plethora of high-ranking performers with the drive to crush it-- not just on the field or mat, but also in their academics. So go ahead, pursue your passion full-throttle. With our flexible and individually-curated academic approach, there’s no need to wait until graduation to do what you love.