Surviving the summer as a student-athlete

Kathleen McCann (Submitted)

For most university students, summer is a time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the sunshine. There are trips to be planned, parties to attend, and a real sense of freedom from everything university-related.

For a student-athlete that kind of summer is more like love at first sight- you know it could happen, but you aren’t holding your breath.

When I think of summer I don’t see long walks on the beach, I see long nights at the gym. I picture intense runs, weight workouts, and lots of sweat. The reality is even though the student portion of “student-athlete” is on vacation; the athlete portion is working twice as hard.

But, that’s a reality I gladly accept.

The training leading up to this season was the most rigorous since I entered the STU women’s basketball program in 2009. We committed to a three phase training regime with each phase increasing in difficulty. It was a long 18 weeks of sprints, weights, and plyometrics, but I feel prepared coming into my final season as a Tommie.

What I’m not prepared for is the constant balancing act between school and sports.

Between practice, weight workouts, readings, and assignments there isn’t much time to spare. In order to finish school work on time I have to be extremely conscious of my school and basketball schedule. My brain operates on a non-stop cycle of the following questions: When are the assignments due? How long will they take? Do I have any away games near their due date? What other commitments do I need to take care of? Which assignments take priority?

It’s safe to say that organization and time management are key factors in being successful as a student and an athlete.

How do I survive? By starting assignments early.

My game plan is simple: work on each assignment for 30 minutes every night, and within two weeks your work will be done. Obviously there are some subjects that have tight deadlines, like journalism, but that is when you prioritize.

In short, school and sports are constantly battling for your time but if you prioritize, start early, and make a plan you can manage both successfully.

 

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