How to Balance School and Sports

By Sarah Lam

Being in High school is already stressful enough.

You have homework, tests, quizzes, and research papers. You have to decide what career you will be pursuing and which college you want to attend. You feel like you have no time in the world to do any of this. On top of this, many students are in extracurricular activities including sports.

How on earth do they manage to do this?

During my Freshman and Sophomore year of high school, I was on my schools JV softball team. Being on a high school sports team is a huge commitment. It takes up much of your time that you could be spending on other things. Practice starts after school and can last anywhere from 6:00 to 7:30. You give 100% during practice and by the time you go home, you are dead tired with so much stuff you have to get done before you go to bed. Games can last up until 8:30 to 9:00. You can travel two hours away and not get home until midnight.

There are a few useful tips that can help manage school with sports

1- Manage your time wisely: If you don’t manage your time wisely nothing will get done. I am a huge procrastinator and schoolwork was always hard for me to maintain during softball season.  If you wait until last minute to start your work, you will find yourself scrambling around last minute to try to fit all the work you and that you have.Take any free time you have during the day to work on assignments and homework this could be during a study hall launch or when you have extra time in the other classes.

2-Plan out your whole week. Once you get assignments write them down and figure out when you can fit them into your schedule. If you can’t find the time to get everything done, this could affect your sports performance because grades always come first and actions will have to be taken until your grades resolve

3- Stay focused: Staying focused on your work is really important. If you get sidetracked a 30 minute assignment could take you hours and that is precious time wasted. Staying focused and getting your work done will take a huge weight off your shoulders and will help take away any excess stress. Put your phone in any other distractions away and focus only on getting the work done in front of you.

4- Make sacrifices: Playing a sport in high school will cause you to have to make three big sacrifices in your everyday life. You will have to sacrifice time and effort into putting 100% into your schoolwork and your athletic ability. You will Find yourself at home or practice instead of hanging out with your friends, going to the mall, or anything else you consider fun. If your grades start to drop and assignments aren’t getting done, you will have to sacrifice the sport you play and miss practices or games based on your academic performance.

5- Be Determined: In order to balance your school life and an extracurricular activity, you HAVE to be determined. There will be times where you feel defeated and you will feel like you can’t balance the two. Do not give up! You have to believe in yourself. Put your mind to the work and get it done so you don’t regret the grades you get and can still participate in your sport. If you don’t have the determination, then nothing will get done and everything will weigh down on you

6- Take Care of Yourself: One important thing not to do is stay up late trying to cram everything in last minute. If you don’t get a good night's sleep, your sports and academic performance will be majorly affected. Make sure you go to bed at a decent time so your body is able to function correctly and you wake up feeling refreshed.

The best advice I can give to you is to never give up. It’s going to be hard and at times you’re going to wonder why am I doing this and is this even worth it? Don’t let school overwhelm you to the point where you lose the love of the game. Managing your time wisely and having a positive attitude towards school will help you majorly. With determination, managing school and a sport can be easy for you, you just have to want it.