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Sep
24

How to Manage Academics and Athletics

     I have heard countless stories and excuses among student-athletes for their inability to maintain good grades because of their commitment to their sport.  To me, it’s a cop-out.  It’s reason for a student to be lazy, to under-achieve, and to go through the motions.  Furthermore, I see more and more parents supporting their athletes in the belief that they simply cannot juggle it all.  Let me tell you, you are only hindering your child’s abilities to be independently successful on the field and in the classroom. It is unexpected to believe that a child, let alone a teenager, will have the capacity to put themselves on a schedule, stay organized, eat properly, maintain good grades, and stay in the starting line-up.  In addition to all of this, your athlete is a female; so let’s factor in the need for social media, friends, school dances, and boys.   They need your help, and they need your support.

     If your daughter is looking to achieve their sport at the highest level, specifically a collegiate scholarship, they need structure to prepare themselves for an independent world.  Collegiate academics and athletics are unforgiving.  A professor won’t care that you just got off of a 3 hour flight from your double-header to excuse you from the midterm and a coach won’t care that you need to study for your test to let you skip practice.  Your child will be thrown into this world at a rapid pace and unless they have
structure and learn to balance all of their activities, they will drown in what was once a dream come true.

Although your child will not want to always follow a structured schedule, they will thank you later in their collegiate years as they will be able to soundly play the sport they love with the ability to be a high-achieving students in the classroom.  So how do you go about implementing this schedule?  You write it out and stick to is as strictly as possible.  Have your female athlete, NOT YOU, write out their full schedule for a typical week, including times, you will be able to see how her time can be managed more efficiently.  For example:

Monday: 8:00-3:00pm School

6:00-8:00pm Practice

10-11pm Bed

 

Once the whole schedule is written out, you will notice that there are huge gaps of time that can be organized in a different manner.  If all the athlete does on Monday’s is school and practice, her homework should be done before practice begins, along with a meal, then practice, then any unfinished work with relaxation time after practice.  Once her whole week is planned out, both of you will see how much time she really has on her hands, leaving no room for excuses to be able “to do it all”.  She will be excuse-free and you will no longer have to fight over why she couldn’t study for her test or why she had to cancel lessons. “Too much homework”, or “practice went too long” will no longer be an issue.

Please note, they probably won’t initially like being put on a schedule, or enjoy being given expectations as to maintaining high academics with their athletic endeavors.  It isn’t impossible and it truly makes for a better student-athlete in the collegiate world where you can’t bail them out by calling their coach or their teacher.  It is a great tool for them to stay organized, achieve excellent scores in the classroom, work hard at their respected sport, and do so with confidence to attain both academic and athletic
accolades without the stress of crunching time.

 

KEY FACTS:

  • Kids need time to be kids, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need structure. 
  • Implement a plan in your home so your kids can maintain their commitments to academics
    and athletics.
  • Don’t allow excuses.  Your athlete can handle it all with success of the field and in the classroom; create a schedule, follow it, and enforce it.  Soon enough they will appreciate it and want to follow it.

1 comment

  1. Jodi Murphy says:

    I actually came across an article the other day that should a correlation between students who play sports and student with good grades. The idea was that someone who plays sports understands dedication, focus, the importance of hard work and so forth. Balancing competitive sports and school work can be tricky, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

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