BY JANE HURST
Are you a student athlete? If so, this is your job. Not only must you excel academically, you also need to excel in your sport, and that means that you need to put all of your concentration and effort into these two things. Your days of having “me time” are over with, at least for now. You need to be completely dedicated to your sport and your education just like you would a full-time job. But, once you learn how to manage your time properly, you can start squeezing in a bit of time for yourself, once the important things are done for the day. Here are some more things to consider when you are a college athlete.
- Schedule Your Absences in Advance – Obviously, there are going to be times when you have to be absent, and you can’t plan for that in advance. But, there are other times when you know you are going to have to be absent, and you can plan for those and let your professors know what is going on. “Let them know the dates that you will not be in classes, and then remind your professors prior to the absence that you will not be in class. Always make sure that you make up any work that is missed, and that your work is always handed in on time,” suggests an expert from Sports Injury & Pain Management Clinic.
- Don’t Let Yourself be Labeled – Just because you are an athlete, it doesn’t mean that you have to be labeled as a “jock”. Don’t think that you don’t belong in your regular classes simply because you are an athlete. You worked hard to get where you are, both in sports and academically, and you should have the confidence to feel like you belong. Take steps to make new friends outside of your regular circle. You bring your own value to any group, institution, etc., and there is more to you than just sports.
- Don’t be the Team Joke – Every team has one, that person who is a total pain in the “you-know-what”. Don’t be that player who is the joke of the team, or who causes grief to your teammates. Be on time for everything, from practices to meetings to actual games. Be reliable, and always be prepared. Be helpful to your teammates and coaches. If you do have to be late or if you have made a mistake, explain things, and apologize. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to make an effort to be a part of the team.
- Manage Your Brand – As soon as you become a college athlete, you are going to be put into the spotlight, so you want to make sure that you are always putting your best foot forward. You are now one of the faces of the school, and the team, and you need to act appropriately. Now is the time to begin managing your brand. Make the right decisions for you, your family, your team, and the entire athletic department. Going out and getting wasted with your friends is not what you want your brand to be seen as.
- Learn from Your Failures – You are not going to be perfect all of the time, and you are going to have your own failures from time to time. The trick is to learn from these failures. Don’t expect perfection in everything you do, and be prepared for setbacks. If you get a low grade on a test, learn from that, and make a higher grade the next time. If you feel overwhelmed in your new surroundings, find someone who you can talk to. Look at your mistakes, assess them, and figure out how you can learn from them and move on.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.