Being a college student is difficult because the environment is fast-paced, the topics are no longer simple, and the lessons are more difficult. It can even be more difficult if you are a student athlete because you have to balance studies, athletics, and life in general. Aside from the scholarship, you get to play the sport you love, which is a win-win situation. There are a lot of struggles that student athletes face every day. And here are some of them:
The Balance Between Studies, Life, and Sports
Time management is a must-have skill for every student athlete. Studies and life alone are hard to balance because of school work—add in athletics for the perfect trifecta. You have to maximize all time management tools such as calendars, planners, and reminders to help you keep track of your schedule. It will be tough, but it’s possible to balance the three. You have to set a schedule and stick to it.
Injuries are a part of being an athlete. Depending on the severity of your injury, you might find yourself in crutches, in a knee brace, or a neck brace. School medics are available to attend to your injury during and after the game. However, there are some precautions to ensure complete healing. Injuries might be temporary or permanent.
Injuries will never be avoided if you play sports. But with proper care, it will heal up quickly, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time. What you need to do is to listen to the medics for your fast recovery.
Carbohydrate-rich and protein-rich foods are a must for every athlete. This is to ensure that the body is light and is capable of strenuous movement. If the food intake is not regulated, it will be difficult for you to be at your best during games. Fruits and vegetables are also encouraged for you to have a good source of vitamins and minerals. Some athletes would consume junk food and alcohol, and that’s okay as long as it’s not consistent.
Student athletes must work out whenever they can, so they have to squeeze in gym time between their free time. Working out is a must to make your muscles accustomed to movement and to make your body lighter. Your school has a designated gym for athletes that you can use anytime you want. Take advantage of it. Be mindful of your time as well so you won’t miss your classes.
Your coach usually has a set of specific workouts that are ideal for the sport that you are playing. Stick to that workout routine to ensure that you perform well during the games. Moreover, stick to your workout schedule so you won’t receive an earful from your coach.
Mental Health Problems
The pressure to maintain good grades and to do well in sports can take a strain mentally. You will become overwhelmed and unmotivated at times, and it is normal. Talking with your friends who are also student athletes also helps because you share the same struggle as them. Don’t let the negative thoughts pester in your mind—instead, mingle. These negative feelings come and pass, so you shouldn’t allow them to linger in your mind.
The latter is not only exclusive to student athletes—but they are also applicable to students who are not athletes. It’s just that they have a lot on their plate because of athletics on top of school work. Managing all these as a student athlete is difficult, but as long as you have organizational skills and self-discipline, you’ll function just fine. You should plot your schedule in a way that does not interfere with your other responsibilities. Time management is key if you have a lot on your plate.
As a student athlete, you already have school work and athletics to balance, but you should not forget your social life. You should go out with your friends and family whenever you can to take a breather from everything. And when you have a rest day, take advantage of it because your mind and body cannot function well if you’re not well-rested.
In addition, it’s nice to take hobbies outside of school so you can forget the school-related pressures temporarily. Remember that being a student athlete can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have, so enjoy as much as you can.