Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Balancing in Cleats and Books

Practice, classes, lift, meetings, study table, homework... all too familiar to student-athletes. Whether you're in college, high school, middle school or even younger- trying to juggle life in cleats and with the books is an endless struggle. Student-athletes go through such a straneous process, mentally and physically. They test their bodies in the physical practices they have... they exhaust their mental capacity by learning so many new things throughout class and even in meetings for their sport!

One football player from Dordt College captured an amazing documentary of what a glimpse of his life looks like behind closed doors, in which you can appreciate the hard labor these student-athletes are exuberating!

You might be a parent of a child who is starting to play sports... or you might be a student-athlete yourself. Whichever the case, there are a few things that you can start to practice that might help overcome some obstacles during these difficult years:

You just might feel like there's something to do every waking minute. To be honest, this is a great lesson for what's to come once you start working in your career field! Every day presents itself with the same number of minutes and hours. It all lies in how you utilize those minutes and where you want to spend that time in order to fulfill the best YOU. If you have scheduled meetings or classes, make the best of those minutes and find a moment to seek happiness in what you're doing. Here's more to say about managing your time in this J&BT post.

There are so many students in the same boat as you that surround you day in and day out (aka your teammates). BUT, if you are able to grab a quick coffee or lunch with someone from your classroom, you can start to build relationships that can steer you in a specific direction for life after sports. Check out this J&BT post for more happs in networking, or this J&BT post for some ideas for convo starters.

3. Get plenty of REST
Sleep is such a sacred thing. Some of us cherish it, while others abuse it. Our bodies and brains recharge at it's best when we rest as much as we can. Put away those cell phones, turn off that tv, and lie in bed with a clear mind. Try not to think about what you have to do the next day, or what you didn't do earlier throughout the day. Just BE... and allow yourself 6-8 hours of beauty rest so you can rejuvinate yourself for practice and school (or work)!

I also recommend a great article titled, "8 Tips for Being a Great Sports Parent" written on Changing the Game Project. He talks about some great insights we can appreciate as parents to support our children who play sports.

The truth of the matter is that you will always have to balance in life. Cleats and books... work and family... time and happiness... children and career... on and on and on. The best thing we can do for ourselves and others is to be as present as we possibly can to whatever it is we are doing in the moment.

How do you balance?

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