How to balance school and sports

High school students often struggle balancing their busy schedules because of extracurricular commitments and heavy academic courses.

By Alex Gresham

High school students often struggle balancing their busy schedules because of extracurricular commitments and heavy academic courses.

With the school year starting up again as well as the fall sports and even year-round sports, it can be hard to get back into the swing of everything regarding school work. From procrastination to being distracted with technology, it can be difficult to get all your homework done at a reasonable hour of the day. Here are some tips on how to work efficiently and manage your time wisely:  

1. Put Away the Phone! 

As teenagers, we get very distracted by our cellphones and most of the time we tend to lose track of time and forget that we need to be doing our homework. With Snapchat and Tik Tok being two of the main distractions, you could be spending hours aimlessly scrolling instead of getting that English homework assignment done. According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online (paywall), compared to about six hours for those aged eight to 12 and 50 minutes for kids between 0 and eight. A suggestion would be putting your phone in another room and go to work somewhere else in order to avoid distraction. 

It effects it, I go on it a lot especially Tik Tok, I find myself on there a couple of hours a day

— Alex Muir

2. Do homework at Practice

If you get to practice early one day, instead of sitting there waiting for practice to start, bring that book you need to read or bring your math homework so you can get as much done as possible to lessen the amount you have to do at home. Also, doing homework in the car ride to and from practices can help save you a couple of extra minutes depending on how far away your practices are. 

3. Plan your week, do not let it plan you

Try to figure out your schedule for the week beforehand just so you know what assignments you have due and what you need to get done in a set amount of time. This is also helpful to prevent you from forgetting to do something or forget to study for a test. By planning out everything in advance its very easy to make sure you have enough time to get all your work done. 

4. Do Not Procrastinate.

Procrastination is the worst thing to do for yourself. Not only does it push back work that you need to get finished but recently there was a study done showing that procrastination can also be bad for health and can lead to serious conditions. Also, procrastinating before any type of activity including practice can cause grades to slip as well as an attitude shift. Students who procrastinate have higher levels of frustration and guilt along with stress and anxiety. A suggestion would be, right when you get home from school, jump on doing your homework just to maximize the time you have

5. Use your weekends wisely 

As teens, we love to go out on the weekends and spend time with our friends doing fun activities and just having a good time but sometimes we can forget about doing homework. Dedicating just one single day during the weekend to doing homework can really help with finishing all your homework. It could even be a Friday after school of you just doing work to get it out of the way at the start of the weekend. Then you would have two whole days of not worrying about school because you got it out of the way from the beginning. 

I really just procrastinate to the point where I just have to grind through it and I get it done. I procrastinate to a certain amount and then I just get it all done in one sitting

— Alex Muir

6. Get organized, stay organized 

Being organized is going to help you so much while doing homework. Also, buying a planner to write down all the homework and tests you have for the week can help you to visualize what is going on during that specific time. Studies have shown that staying organized also reduces stress and helps to keep you calm. This proves to be beneficial when in a time crunch due to sports or other extra circulars. 

7. Do Not Get Behind

If you do happen to get behind in your classes it will be very hard to get back on track and catch up with the rest of the class. So just try your best to get everything completed on time and do not wait until the last minute to do things even if sports is a conflict. Talking to a teacher and seeing how they can help you catch up is a good tool or even asking a friend if they can help as well.

8. Assess your Priorities 

Figuring out what needs to be achieved is important. Assessing what has priority over other things is critical, like going on your phone and texting your friends is not a priority for you and doing homework and studying before practice should be a priority in order to be able to get homework finished in time for you to get a good sleep and be able to go to practice.   

9. Know when to stop 

Although it is crucial to keep up in classes and do your homework do not overwhelm yourself. Sometimes it is good to take a break or take a step back from what you are doing. Overwhelming yourself at practice or staying up late to finish homework can put a damper on your health and really affect you mentally and physically.  

10. Seek Advice from Others  

Asking a teacher or counselor for advice on how to balance homework with other activities like sports or extra circulars can be critical and can really benefit you. Figuring out a good system for yourself also encourages and creates a balance in your life. 

Which takes the most of your time? Academics or Sports

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