7 Time Management Tips for Student Athletes

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By Kelsey Mitchell, Swimming World College Intern.

Time management has always been important in the world of athletics. With the academic year in full swing and collegiate teams across the country beginning their seasons, student athletes are busier than ever. Balancing academics, athletics and a social life is no walk in the park. Here are seven simple time management tips to have your best year:

1. Prioritize Practice

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Making practice a priority is crucial to athletic success. If you don’t put the work in at practice, you won’t see results at meets. One of the easiest ways to put in the work is by attending all practices on time and working hard while you are there. Though not always possible, by basing parts of your schedule around practices and putting your athletic commitments over other extracurricular organizations, you will have more opportunities to train and improve your swimming. This can also help academically, as having a set practice schedule can force you to stay on top of deadlines and assignments.

2. Use a Planner or Calendar

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Using a calendar or planner is an easy way to view all of your commitments and deadlines in one space. These tools allow you to stay organized daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Seeing assignments and deadlines written down can help you to determine a study schedule and decide which assignments are most urgent. Calendars and planners are one of the easiest ways to organize your schedule and stay on top of deadlines.

3. Complete Assignments in Chronological Order

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By completing assignments in chronological order, it is easier to stay on top of homework. Using this study tactic, you are able to avoid assignment buildup and stay on top of your work flow and course load. You are also less likely to turn in late assignments and more likely to begin studying ahead of time.

4. Begin Studying in Advance

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Studying in advance helps you to retain information and avoid exam day stress. Putting off studying until the night before can lead to exhaustion and poor grades. Starting your studies early helps you to better remember information, while also keeping you from dozing off in the middle of a test. Plus, showing up to an exam with no sleep will be detrimental to your whole day – workout included. You would not go into an important meet without preparation, so why do the same for a test?

5. Avoid Procrastination

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Though we all fall into bouts of procrastination every now and then, doing so frequently can have a very negative impact on one’s academics and athletics. Completing your tasks on time will de-clutter your schedule and leave more time for relaxing and other hobbies. Avoiding procrastination will also help you get assignments in on time and maintain your sleep schedule.

6. Don’t Take On Too Many Responsibilities

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Though being involved in clubs and other extracurricular activities are a memorable and gratifying part of the high school and collegiate experience, being involved in too much can be detrimental to your academics and athletics. Jobs, internships, clubs and other commitments are all great for resumes and getting to know your peers, but balancing them with athletics and academics can be difficult. Before joining other groups, try to get a feel for your course load and practice schedule to be sure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew.

7. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule

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There is no doubt that a healthy sleep schedule improves academic and athletic performance. By going to bed and waking up at a similar time every day, it is easier to keep a consistent schedule throughout the week. A consistent sleep schedule will leave you feeling refreshed and energetic, allowing you tackle your work both in and out of the pool.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.