“There aren’t enough hours in the day,” said my friend. She called for an SAT tutor recommendation; she needed someone flexible. Her son plays varsity soccer; he comes home after 7:00pm. When could he tutor?
Most student-athletes spends 7 hours daily at school and at least another 2 hours at practice (in season, on a non-game day). Many don’t arrive home until after 6:00pm (often later) and must shower, eat and complete hours of homework. If you consider community service and the occasional part-time job, you must wonder how these kids succeed.
These three common sense tips can help student-athletes maximize their available time.
Be Organized: Don’t waste time. Spending 10 minutes searching for notebooks or 30 minutes for cleats is lost time; it adds up. “Create a place for everything and keep everything in its place.” Help your child develop good habits and save hours over the course of the week!
Develop Focus: Honestly, multitasking doesn’t work. Encourage your child to focus on one thing at a time. One class. One practice. Suggest silencing social media while studying. Encourage regular breaks (for phone checks) because wondering what’s happening is distracting. Have them remain in the loop consistently, not constantly.
Leverage Downtime: Study on bus rides. Gas the car on the way to practice. Complete math problems while waiting for a friend. TBH, this time would most likely be spent on social media. Take advantage of down time; make it productive.
The vast majority of student-athletes will not receive a full athletic scholarship. Academics should ALWAYS come first. If the math tutor conflicts with soccer practice one Tuesday, the tutor takes precedence.
Sometimes you may need to advocate for your child. While certain coaches understand an occasional missed practice; many don’t. If your child is struggling with this conflict, you may need to intervene. Remember, the coach/student-athlete relationship contains an inherent imbalance of power; it’s hard to be a kid. That said, commitments to teams are important, and you should work with your family to minimize any disruptions. At the same time, ensure your child’s athletic performance is the best it can be.
Lori Wolk is a seasoned writer who has been through the college athletic recruitment process twice. She is generously sharing her wisdom and experience with GAMECHANGER’s audience. Need someone to write a blog or article for your local or business publications? Contact Lori at [email protected] today.