The focus of the Scholar-Athlete
Scholar athletes undertake many duties and responsibilities that require a certain finesse to succeed in academics and athletics. Some scholar-athletes participate in more than one sport throughout the academic year. In contrast, others participate in athletics and other extracurricular activities such as honor society, choir, band, clubs, etc.
At the end of the day, though, scholar-athletes have two primary focuses: scholarly pursuits such as homework, tests, and projects, and athletic pursuits such as practice, scrimmages, and games/matches.
With all that a scholar-athlete must juggle throughout the academic year from practice to classes to dances to clubs, homework, home life, and even to jobs, implementing proactivity is crucial in staying ahead and on top both on and off the field.
Tips for Balance
Being proactive is one of the hardest skills to learn and harder yet to implement effectively, especially as a scholar-athlete being bombarded with one responsibility after another. Proactivity is the act of acting before, especially in that of an anticipatory effect, or, more relatively, acting before a deadline, due date, or game time has had the chance to spring up seemingly of their own accord.
In order to become more proactive, scholar-athletes can throw these tips into their organizational toolbox to craft to their needs as they see fit:
Organize and Prioritize
Coaches and teachers don’t roll out of bed each day and throw together their practice or lesson plans. Scholar athletes can take this as an example that instead of rolling out of bed each day and drifting or rushing from one event to the next, they can take command of their life by organizing and prioritizing the various duties and responsibilities they have undertaken.
Utilizing a planner or calendar is helpful as it can be catered to each scholar athlete’s need. Various colors of highlighter, tabs and sticky notes can bring attention to various aspects of the scholar athlete’s responsibilities such as due dates and games.
Study Time at School
Some institutions have homerooms, others have study halls, and yet others have neither or if they do, only on sporadic days. Nevertheless, the scholar-athlete must take advantage of periods similar to homerooms and study halls to be proactive and complete various assignments, homework, and projects.
Suppose the scholar athlete’s institution has neither homeroom nor study hall frequently. In that case, the scholar-athlete has to be cognizant to recognize when they can complete some homework even during class or other classes if there is a lull in the material being taught.
Study Time During Travel
Scholar Athletes of all sports and athletic events have ample travel time to endure. Whether they are traveling in a bus or car, that is time that they can have dedicated to studying and completing homework.
In this modern age of advanced technology, with WiFi nearly ubiquitous and some phone services providing excellent hot spot capabilities, a scholar-athlete can have access to their online materials nearly everywhere. That being said, the scholar-athlete can easily complete and stay ahead on homework even while traveling.
Math tutorials can be found on YouTube. Books can be found in either electronic, pdf, or audio versions from Amazon or a simple Google search. And if they need to ask for help, they have access to an abundance of messaging services to ask their teacher directly or their classmate.
Also during travel, a scholar-athlete will more than likely have a teammate that is also a classmate in at least one class they share. During travel, each scholar athlete can help each other and question each other in review for completing homework and preparing for tests.
Communicate Need for Help
Teachers, advisors, and coaches make it their mission in life to instill in students and scholar-athletes alike a foundation of scholarly knowledge, athletic skills, and well-rounded dispositions to prepare them for collegiate and adult life.
Because of this compassion, teachers, advisors, and coaches love to help those who ask for help, if those in need ask for help soon enough. Being able to communicate this need, should it arise, early enough is crucial for the scholar-athlete to balance homework and tests with practice and games.
A teacher, advisor, or coach will be more likely to help out if the scholar-athlete asks for help well in advance of a potential due date or athletic event. The night before will more than likely not result in a favorable outcome for the scholar-athlete. However, a week in advance or more will more likely attain a more favorable result with the teacher, advisor, or coach actually working with the scholar-athlete.
“Do it as soon as the thought comes about”:
This mentality can aid the scholar-athlete in being proactive to attain a great balance between homework and practice because procrastination loves to move in where discipline should be. The scholar-athlete often wants to do anything else rather than homework after practice or school, but doing homework, academic tasks, and projects as soon as the scholar-athlete thinks of it will be beneficial in the long-term. The scholar-athlete may find themself with even more time later on than he/she would have believed initially possible.
Relax and Be Present
Scholar athletes need to remember that they have chosen to participate in a sport or athletic event because they genuinely enjoy. Allow practice and games to be a chance to relax, to throw away all the stressors and pressures of the academic world, and to be a kid again while enjoying the game they love.
Experiment to Find a Balance
A scholar-athlete will be inundated with various aspects of their life, from school to homework to practice to games. The best guideline for balancing homework and practice is whatever works for the scholar-athlete to remain successful on the field and in the classroom if chaotic notes on sticky notes laid haphazardly in the backpack work for the athlete, great. Suppose reminders on the cellular device with specified tones for various events work, also great. As long as the scholar-athlete remains successful in their balance and remembers to enjoy their game, they will be successful in life.