Struggles of a Student Athlete: Time Management

Author: Julianna W

17 November 2017

[Editor’s Note: While not a participant in athletics at Shorecrest, Julianna W, Class of 2018, is a competitive rower in the Tampa Bay area.]

It seems like twenty-four hours in one day would be plenty of time to go to school, go to practice, do homework, eat food, and get ten hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, that is not the reality of a student-athlete’s daily life.

Most of us athletes have school until 3:30, then practice, and do not get home until closer to 8 p.m.. Most practices last over two hours when you are a competitive high school athlete, and when you get home, you are utterly exhausted from training. The cycle is never ending.

One of my friends is a competitive swimmer who has competed at the Junior Olympics for swimming. She has told me time and time again how exhausting it is to wake up at 4 a.m., go to morning practice, go to school, go to afternoon practice, and then go home and do at least three hours worth of homework. She has told me that she feels like a “hamster on a wheel.”

Some people ask student-athletes why they continue to play hard and work hard when they struggle to manage it all. Well, time management is something that all athletes learn very quickly. Athletics are so demanding that athletes have to learn to schedule allocated blocks of time to complete their assignments and study for tests. Whether that means getting up early on a Sunday morning and pushing through the whole day or skipping that Friday night out, athletes get their work done. Between races at a regatta, for example, my teammates and I will study for a period of time and then get up and go race once again.

 Julianna rowing in the Club National Championships.
Julianna rowing in the Club National Championships.

Having time management skills is especially important if a high school student-athlete plans to play sports in college. College coaches expect that the athletes they recruit are able to manage their schedules fairly well. Trying to get recruited is a difficult process, but coaches always stress the fact that they only want athletes that are able to juggle academics, athletics, and a social life.

Learning time management skills is one of the benefits of being a student-athlete in high school and, potentially, in college. These skills don’t just serve the athlete well in high school and in college; they are also essential skills to have for a first job. Without time management skills, the work environment becomes very overwhelming because of the amount of work that is being thrown at you. An employee with impeccable time management skills stands out more to employers than the employees with poor time management skills. The discipline that athletics gives student-athletes thus pays dividends later on in life.