4 Helpful Tips for Balancing Academics and Athletics

A young athlete with a football on the field.

If you’re a student athlete, we have some good news for you! While juggling your academic and athletic obligations can be challenging, studies have shown that making the extra effort can pay off in a big way. When compared with students who do not play sports, student athletes consistently have higher GPAs, more positive attitudes about school, and more interest in going to college. In short, being an athlete makes you a better student.

Student athletes are so successful, in part, because they are forced to develop excellent time management skills. Here at Rocky Top Sports World, we have met thousands of young athletes who have found creative ways to stay on top of their schoolwork while giving 100% to their team. To help our readers succeed in the classroom and on the court, we have put together four helpful tips for balancing school and sports.

1. Use a Calendar

Whether it’s a digital calendar on your smartphone or an old fashioned desk calendar, having a place to keep track of your schedule is absolutely essential. Be sure to fill the calendar with all of the due dates for homework, papers, projects, and any other schoolwork. In addition to your academic responsibilities, add all of your practices, games, tournaments, and team events. Check your calendar each week to make sure that it is up to date.

Once you have filled your calendar with all of your obligations, you can start to block out time to study and do homework. One advantage of using a digital calendar on your phone is having the option of setting reminders. An alarm at 4 p.m. every weekday to prompt you to review your Spanish vocab words can be a big help.

2. Make the Most of Your Travel TimeA boy studying on a school bus.

When you’re on a tight schedule, you will want to take advantage of every free minute you get. Time spent traveling to school, practices, or games can be great opportunities to do some studying or reading. Some student athletes prefer to take the bus to school in the morning because it provides them with a chunk of uninterrupted time to review material before class.

If you will be travelling to a tournament, there are usually many hours in the car or bus where you can get some work done. One of the best ways to spend a long drive is to listen to an audiobook of a novel that you were assigned in English class. Virtually all of the classics are available in audiobook form on Audible.com or a similar website.

(See Also: 6 Travel Tips for Attending Youth Sports Events at Rocky Top Sports World)

3. Get Ahead on the Weekends

Whenever possible, try to prepare for the coming week on Saturday and Sunday. Obviously, you don’t want to spend the entire weekend working, but consider allocating at least a few hours to completing homework that will be due in the next few days. Getting a jump on your assignments on Sunday night will make the rest of your week much easier.

4. Enjoy Your Time Playing Sports

During particularly busy weeks, going to practice can sometimes feel like just another assignment. Unlike schoolwork, however, participating in athletics is something you chose to do because you enjoy it. Every so often, it is important for student athletes to take a second to appreciate how much fun it is to play a sport. Spending time with your teammates and giving it your all on the field is an excellent way to reduce your stress from the week. After a great game or practice, you should feel a lot better about managing your time.

Teenage girls playing lacrosse.Here at Rocky Top Sports World, we cultivate a fun atmosphere for all of our sports tournaments and events. Located minutes away from all of the great attractions, restaurants, and shops in downtown Gatlinburg, TN, our 80 acre sports campus features breathtaking mountain views, 7 fields, 6 basketball courts, 12 volleyball courts, and an onsite grill. To learn about everything happening at Rocky Top Sports World this year, check out our Smoky Mountain Sports Events Calendar!