Being a student athlete in college is a colossal accomplishment.
It’s also a big commitment. Earning a spot on the team takes time, effort, and resilience—and a lot of it at that. Most days, it can feel like working a full-time job on top of being a full-time student between balancing schoolwork, classes, practices and games, social time, and more.
So, if you’re struggling to juggle it all, know that you are not alone.
Check out 6 tips for succeeding as a collegiate student athlete.
1. Create a Schedule
Establishing an organized schedule can be one of your biggest assets. Grab a planner or download a calendar app on your phone and fill it out weekly. Pencil in schoolwork deadlines, meetings, games, practices, study time—all of it. If you want to go the extra mile, highlight school items in one color and athletics items in another color.
Having an organized schedule will help you plan accordingly and dedicate time where and when you need it. Plus, it will help you feel less overwhelmed and provide you the mental space to better focus on both your athletic and academic responsibilities.
2. Set a Timer
Ensure that your schedule is complete with blocks of time—meaning a start time and an end time. This is especially important for elements of your routine that you have sole control over.
For example, if you know you need to study for a biology test and edit a paper on Tuesday afternoon, dedicate specific blocks of time for each task. Then, set a timer to ensure you stay on track. Trust us, you’ll thank us when you go to bed knowing you won’t have to scramble the following morning to complete things.
3. Track Goals
As an athlete, you’ve probably set athletic goals for yourself a time or two. As a student, setting academic goals can be a great idea as well!
What do you hope to accomplish this semester? This year? By graduation?
Maybe one of your goals is to get straight As. Or land an internship. Or graduate magna cum laude. Having measurable goals can help you reframe your focus and motivate you to keep putting in the hard work.
4. Find a Study Partner
Your teammates keep you motivated as a top-performing athlete. Why not keep each other motivated as conscientious students as well?
Whether or not it’s someone who is in the same major, you both will be familiar with the unique challenges that come with being a student athlete. So, dedicate time each week to study together.
Grab a desk at the library and pour over notes. Create flashcards and quiz each other for an upcoming exam. Exchange papers and offer editing suggestions.
5. Use School Resources
Make sure to look into all the academic services that your school offers. There are probably more than you even know about! Plus, these resources are often free of charge.
For example, your colleges may offer study groups, tutoring, writing aid, research assistance, office hours, academic and career advising, and more. Taking advantage of these resources is an easy way to help you maintain your athletic and academic success.
6. Learn from Failure
We’ve all failed at something—especially during college. More than likely, you will too at some point.
But don’t let it get you down. In fact, embrace it. Evaluate what went wrong. Decide how you will learn from it. Then, pick yourself back up and keep going.
With time, you’ll begin to realize you’ve grown immensely, become more resilient, and ultimately become a more successful student ready to launch a successful career.
At Mid-Atlantic Christian University, we understand the exciting yet challenging life of a student athlete. In fact, about 75% of our students participate in intercollegiate sports.
We strive to set up our student athletes for success in athletics, academics, and spiritual growth. A big part of that mission is our “Win Twice” motto—meaning win first with your attitude and effort towards bringing glory to God. Win second on the scoreboard.
Discover a strong family in MACU athletics that is passionate about supporting you as both a successful student and a competitive athlete.
Sound like MACU could be a great fit for you? Learn more!