Being a college athlete is a major commitment. You are not only committing yourself to full-time hours on a weekly basis, you are also sacrificing time that would usually be used to study, spend time with friends, and do things that make you happy. This can lead to resentment and doubt, ultimately leading to you stop loving your sport. This is why it’s important to find even the smallest amount of time to do something else that’s meaningful to you.
How can I do something else when I have such little time? Honestly, this is a difficult question. The best approach is to focus on what you’re doing, and who you’re doing it with. For example, try collaborating with friends in activities that you’d be doing regardless, such as studying or eating meals.
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In the rare moments where you do have an extended period of time for yourself, decide whether you want to spend that time alone or with other people. Sometimes “alone time” is exactly what you need to recoup, but if you thrive off of social interaction, try your best to be around people when you have the time.
It’s also important to dedicated a certain amount of time each week to something that isn’t school, work, or sport related. Go for a walk, watch a new movie, go out to eat, or treat yourself to a night in.
It’s difficult to truly predict where your free time will come from as a college athlete, but don’t take it for granted when it’s available. You deserve time for yourself to do what you want, and that time is crucial to preventing burnout.