65 How To Be A Successful Student Athlete

Adam Casteel; Tyler Freas; Bralin Barton; and Anonymous


It can be hard managing time between athletics and school. You don’t have much of a social life and you made a commitment to be at every practice, game, and morning workout. The first weeks are never easy. It will take time to adjust from the comfort of your home to a new environment filled with new faces and a rigorous schedule. One way to manage your schoolwork and athletics is by making a schedule for yourself. At the beginning of the start of the school year, consolidate your school, work, extracurricular and family schedules. Another way to manage your schoolwork and sports is by taking breaks. Your body can only do so much work. One of the best ways to ensure success as a student-athlete is to get your body into a routine. You need to adapt to the new lifestyle and the quicker you do the easier school will be for you.

How To Schedule Your Day

As a student-athlete, one of the best things to do is make a schedule for yourself. This will be important for your first few weeks, so you get the hang of it early. Make sure you always put your schoolwork first. If you have school interfering with sports make sure you let your coach know in advance so they can plan accordingly. Dry-erase boards, calendars, agendas, or technology are all ways to keep your schedule. College is a big step up from high school. And being an athlete at the same time makes it even tougher. Go up to your teachers and ask them what assignments are coming up in the future. You will have some days where you get assigned a huge project in one class and have an essay due the same day in another class. Fortunately, with a schedule, you will know how to break up those assignments, so you do a little bit every day instead of cramming it all in for one night.

How To Take Efficient Breaks

A very popular way to manage your schoolwork and athletics is to take breaks throughout the day. Your body can only take so much work before it starts doing you a disservice by overworking. College sports will challenge you physically and classes will challenge you mentally, so you must be well rested for these obstacles. Take around 30 minutes to and hour every day to rest and close your eyes for a quick nap. This won’t just help your body physically; it will be rejuvenating for your mental health. Mental illness is a huge problem today and to help ensure you stay mentally healthy you must designate time in your day to rest. If you’re not well rested, you will not perform well in the classroom or on the field/court. Students are encouraged to take mindfulness-based interventions to ensure a healthy mental lifestyle. There is sufficient evidence supporting the use of mindfulness-based interventions with student-athletes for increasing mindfulness, managing negative emotions and perceived stress, as well as improving overall well-being. There is also current literature that advocates the use of mindfulness-based interventions for reducing injury, but further research is needed for support.

How To Get Into A Routine

Another way to ensure you get both schoolwork and meet your requirements for your sport is to get into a routine. After the first couple of weeks your body will adapt to when you wake up when to eat and when to do schoolwork. As a student-athlete myself, I found this way to be the most helpful. It truly makes life so much easier when you have everything in order. Plan your routine around your peak productive times and make sure to rest and socialize in the off-hours. It’s best to plan your studying hours/schoolwork hours after your practices or workouts. Your brain will still be wide awake, and your blood will be flowing so you won’t get tired. If you get into this routine, you are guaranteed success.

Survey Results

We surveyed 20 student-athletes on which way they like best to be a successful student-athlete. We gave them three options to choose from.
1. Scheduling your days
2. Taking efficient breaks
3. Getting your body into a routine
8 people said taking a break in the day was the most effective. 3 people said getting into a daily routine was the best way. 9 people said scheduling your days out is the best way.


Orso, A. (2019, August 28). 6 tips for how to manage your schedule with school back in session. Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,shib&db=nfh&AN=2W62907804126&site=ehost-live
Petterson, H., & Olson, B. L. (2017). Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions in High School and College Athletes for Reducing Stress and Injury, and Improving Quality of Life. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 26(6), 578–587. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2016-0047
Cunningham, J. (2017). How to Manage Your Time Effectively at College. Intercollegiate Review, 1–3. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,shib&db=a9h&AN=133534511&site=ehost-live


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How To Be A Successful Student Athlete by Adam Casteel; Tyler Freas; Bralin Barton; and Anonymous is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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