3 Tips for Balancing Swim Life and Academic Life


By Allison Pierce, Swimming World College Intern

While the season for Olympic athletes has come to a close, it has only just begun for many high school, age group, and collegiate athletes. The start of a new season also brings a new academic year. The dedication required for swimming and academics – as well as co-curriculars and social life – can be difficult to manage.

Here are three ways to balance your swim life with your academic life and avoid unnecessary stress.

1. Use a day planner.


Photo Courtesy: Flickr

There are a multitude of responsibilities to juggle as a student-athlete. Rather than attempting to keep track of everything in your head, write it down. Get a day planner where you can note any daily homework or upcoming exams, along with when your practices and meets are.

Miami University swimmer Abby Stone has found this to be helpful. “Keeping a planner is the perfect way to manage your time and find a good balance between swimming and academics,” Stone said. “Having your busy schedule documented allows you to be prepared, plan ahead, and make the best use of your time in order to be successful in both the pool and the classroom.”

2. Work ahead.

Beach Studying

Photo Courtesy: Dan Worden

Although it is easier to think in the short term when it comes to school work, working ahead is essential for any student-athlete. Got a big prelim-final meet coming up? Take sometime the prior weekend to work on any homework that is due around the time of your meet. In college and often in high school, professors/teachers give you a syllabus explaining when any major assignments are due, so you will always know what is coming.

Stone’s teammate Peyton Mosbaugh feels that this is particularly important. “It is important to work ahead because it prevents the stress caused by procrastination,” Mosbaugh said. “This can negatively affect your performance in the pool and the classroom.”

3. Put your phone away. 

Apr 16, 2015; Mesa, AZ, USA; Michael Phelps looks at his iPhone as he receives a massage before the Men's 100 meter butterfly final during the 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series at the Skyline Aquatic Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic via USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sport

As high school and college students, we like to think that we are good multi-taskers, but the reality is we are not. Even though it may seem okay to text your friend while studying for tomorrow’s quiz, research shows that this is less effective than studying without a phone. Furthermore, it wastes time.

Miami University swimmer Chase Bettner agrees. “If I have my phone out when I’m doing homework or studying, I usually get distracted by some app or social media,” Bettner said. “Then I’ve wasted 30 minutes and I could have been doing something much more productive.”

Between class and practices twice a day, there are minimal windows of opportunity to get school work done. Save yourself the time and stress and put your phone away when you study.

With the help of these tips, you will be able to excel in the pool and the classroom with less stress!

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