Sports editor offers survival tips to athletes


Ready, set and go. The gun goes off and before I know it I’m crossing the finish line, running over to my book bag and looking over the busy schedule ahead of me. And it is like that for most of us in a sport in college. You wake up, go to class, do homework and then you are off to practice or a game.

Senior runner Tina Oprean, along with many of the other sports staff writers, endures the life of being a student athlete. Juggling the hectic life for the past four years has helped Oprean to understand the secrets behind time management and enjoying the college experience. (Photo courtesy of Andy Smith)

The cycle is like a bad song that plays over and over again on the radio and you have no power to turn it off. From long hours of practice to boatloads of homework, you can definitely say that there aren’t enough hours in a day for a student athlete. But with the right tools, attitude and confidence, any student can survive the nonstop schedule of a college athlete.

Things you will need

  • Calendar
  • Planner
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Most importantly, a positive attitude!

Step 1. Laying out your schedule

Before the semester starts, always make sure to fill in dates, times and days that you know will be booked from classes, practices, games etc. Filling in time slots and laying out your calendar beforehand is always a good way to prepare yourself for the semester. It not only makes you a little more organized but also shows you a layout of the entire semester. This will give you a great perspective on what days will be filled.

Step 2. Setting goals for yourself

Goal setting has always been an asset to an athlete but it is also essential to a student. Setting small academic and sports performance goals is always a good way to keep yourself accountable throughout the year. Writing down weekly, monthly and yearly goals can make the semester seem purposeful and can also set the right tone at the beginning of a semester. Goal setting not only gives you something to reach for but is also a good reminder on why you are living this busy life.

Step 3. Talking to coaches and professors

It is always important to keep in contact with coaches, professors or bosses about upcoming sporting events and other extracurricular activities. Keeping the door of communication open to them is always a key element to succeeding as a student athlete.  Coaches and professors usually have good perspective and can help you set up your schedule.

Step 4. Say no when needed

Student athletes sometimes have a hard time saying “no.” Learning to be realistic with your schedule could save you a great amount of stress. Although many student athletes are competitive and believe in conquering all, sometimes you have to let go of the competitive drive and learn to say no. Being realistic with your time and schedule is a big part of being a student athlete.

Step 5. Personal time

There is no doubt that student athletes are almost constantly around their peers, but sometimes you just need a break from teammates, friends, coaches, professors etc. Always make time for yourself during your busy schedule. Although it may seem impossible, there is always enough time for you to sneak a ten minute walk by yourself or go somewhere quiet to read a book. Treating yourself to something you enjoy can be very beneficial and can also release tension and anxiety.  A short break from your hectic life does wonders for the mind, body and spirit.

Step 6. Stay calm and take surprises in stride

And finally, take a deep breath and exhale! Before your first day of practice and school, keep in mind that your schedule will not always be written in stone. Be prepared to make changes to your schedule and always remember to stay calm! Curve balls will be thrown at you and learning to roll with it is the best advice! Keep positive and carry on with the punches that will be thrown at you.

And now you can breathe! You conquered another hectic semester of hard practices and long hours of homework! Now go out and celebrate your success on becoming a student-athlete!

To read about how the Pioneer athletes are dealing with the changes that come with NCAA, check out this story by writer Tim Woods!

 Tina Oprean is the sports editor for The Aviso AVW.


Categories: Features, Sports

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