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The huddle

June 20, 2019

4 Tips on Time Management for Student-Athletes

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Kathleen McHugh #8 Providence Athletics

“Downtime” is a rare concept for a college athlete. In-season athletes have very little time between classes, lifts, and practice. Racing from class to class, taking meals on the go, finishing school work at night after practicing, it all seems so hectic, right?

For a college athlete, it is not uncommon to be out and about from the time you wake up to the time you crash on your bed later that night. This is why, for a student-athlete, balancing school and your sport is so important.

Time management is something you learn in high school, balancing multiple sports, spending all day at school, and having to do homework later in the evening. What I found is that time management became critical once I got to college and much more challenging. In college, you have a lot more freedom and flexibility to do what you want with your days, so it’s up to you how you spend it.

In college, academics and athletics become more demanding and require a much greater time commitment than in high school. In high school, I found I developed many time management skills, but in college, I have had to focus on them to be successful.

I spoke with many Division 1 Student-Athletes, and most spend about three plus hours a day, either lifting or practicing, have an average of 2-3 classes per day. They also have about two plus hours of homework or studying to do a day. Sounds like a busy day? Week? And season, right?

Most athletes have mandatory team events between practice, lift, video, and games six days a week. This will average well over 20 hours a week on their sport. Since a collegiate sport takes up a lot of our time, we have to have excellent time management skills.

As a Division 1 Ice Hockey Player I have learned the ropes of time management and now want to share some of my best tips with you on how to be successful in college and build valuable time management skills.

Use a planner – At Providence College, each student-athletes receives a planner at the beginning of each academic year. If the athletic department does not provide you with one, buy one, you’re going to need it.  This helps student-athletes map our homework, exams, and travel days so that you can communicate effectively with your professors in the event of a conflict. I use mine for anything and everything, writing homework assignments, exams, interviews, family events, anything!

Don’t Procrastinate – stay ahead on your schoolwork. Always start assignments as early as you can. As an athlete staying up on your schoolwork is crucial. With the amount of time we dedicate to our sport, we must make sure we have plenty of time to do homework, get enough rest, and eat well. I always like to do my assignments during the day in between classes, so I am not up late working till the last minute. I start my tougher assignments right away, prioritizing which assignments will take me the most time helps me stay on track with my school work!

Talk to your professors – having a good relationship with your professors makes all the difference in the world. Communicating your travel schedule and daily practice commitment with your professors will help them better understand you and your availability. Often as athletes, we have to miss class and to have a good relationship with our professors helps us with missed work and avoiding any complications with classes.

Take advantage of downtime – of course; everyone likes to enjoy a midafternoon nap. What helps manage your time in college is how you use your downtime, whether that’s before and after practice, on the bus, in the hotel or time in between classes. Using this time wisely will help you in the long run. It will help you feel less stressed, be prepared, and have any questions answered you might need.

A college athlete is responsible for two very big-time commitments, school and their sport, which is why time management is so important. It becomes easier over the years in college, and you start to come up with your tips and tricks for managing your time and using it effectively. I hope these tips will give you a little insight into how important it is to use your time wisely as a college athlete, and they set you up to be successful at the next level! Good luck.