Balancing Athletic and Academic Commitments
Many student-athletes are well aware of the importance of balancing classes and practices throughout the school year, but what about during the summer? While some athletes may be tempted to focus solely on their sport, it’s important to stay academically engaged during your break.
Just like it’s difficult to get your body back in shape after time off, it can be challenging to perform well academically if you haven’t been keeping up throughout the summer. Keep reading to learn our top tips for balancing athletic and academic commitments over your summer vacation.
Set Some Goals
Before your summer break begins, take some time to reflect on what you hope to achieve over the next few months. Even if your most pressing objectives have to do with athletic performance, write down at least three academic goals you want to work on. This could include checking off five books on your independent reading list, boosting your SAT or ACT score, and finalizing your list of best-fit colleges. Make sure your goals are measurable, realistic, and aligned with the long-term aspirations you’re hoping to achieve. Once you have your objectives solidified, write them down in a notebook or save them on your phone so that you can easily refer back to them.
Stick to a Schedule
Many student-athletes are masters at time management and it’s important not to let these skills fall by the wayside during the summer months. Make sure you’re adding all of your commitments to a daily calendar so that you can reflect on your day and identify when you have free time that you can devote to your academic goals. Carve out two to three-hour blocks to devote to academic work and add these appointments to your calendar to keep yourself accountable. Just like you would never miss practice, make sure you’re consistent with your schoolwork.
Check-in With Yourself
It can be easy to go on auto-pilot during the summer. Instead, set aside time each week to review the progress you have made while working towards your academic goals. Identify any challenges or distractions that made it difficult for you to make progress or complete the tasks you have chosen. If a certain week went particularly well for you, try to reflect on what you did differently and pinpoint a few habits that you can repeat to generate similar success.
Find Your Team
Just like your athletic team keeps you accountable and motivated on the field, create your own support system for your academic goals. Instead of keeping your aspirations to yourself, share them with a friend or familiar member. Throughout the summer, discuss the progress you have been making and see if you can gain any insights or tips from your support team.
Reward Strong Behaviors
There’s nothing wrong with a little positive reinforcement. When you’ve hit a major milestone towards one of your goals, consider finding a positive reward that reinforces the behaviors you are practicing. Some examples of rewards might include a movie night, a trip to your favorite beach or park, or some new books to add to your reading list. Whatever you choose, make sure your reward is something that makes you genuinely feel good while staying consistent with the goals you have set for yourself.
While it can be challenging to balance school work and sports commitments, it’s also a valuable opportunity to learn how to budget your time and thrive during a busy season. If you’re a student-athlete getting ready to apply to colleges, our team of expert admissions counselors can guide you through the recruitment process and help you identify your best-fit schools.