Athletics are great extracurriculars to become involved in. Basketball, cheerleading, cross country, volleyball; there are so many sports to choose from. Depending on what your school offers, it’s like a buffet of activities that benefit you not only physically, but mentally as well. Beneficial as athletics are, many teens are intimidated by them, and when part of the team, tend to struggle with balancing sports and school. So how do you deal?
Choosing a Sport
Choosing which kind of sports team you will join is an important decision. Some teams are walk-on, meaning you can literally just walk on and you’re part of the team, but there are others you have to try out for. Whether it’s a walk-on team or not maybe an important factor for you. If you’re good at certain sports, it’s obvious to join those teams. Sports are also a good chance to try something new; if you aren’t outstanding at softball, yet still want to join a team, you can join the walk-on softball team and learn new skills.
I have to admit, if you’re good at one sport, you aren’t automatically good at them all (I always get hit in the head with balls when asked to catch them, but I can run 2 miles in 14 to 15 minutes), so you don’t have to join all the athletic activities that are possible. Be wise about which sports you choose to be involved in, and commit to them. “I believe that to be successful in any sport you’ve got to be willing to commit a significant amount of time and put in a good amount of effort as well,” comments Jessica Zhou, a fellow Prospect intern. Commitment is important when involved in any sport because time is needed to grow stronger and get better at the sport. If you aren’t ready to commit, don’t join a team.
Managing Your Sports
Sports have the potential to run your life, especially when you are involved in more than one, so it’s important to have a system to help with time management. “One way I manage my time is to keep a schedule,” says high school student Joie Cascayan. “I usually ask the coach for the practice schedule and the meets for the sport so I can log them in on my planner.” Schedules are a great way to help with time management; this way you won’t forget about the paper due next Wednesday, the day between two soccer games, and you can plan accordingly. Schedules also help with procrastination. Everyone does it, but it helps when you can see the dates certain assignments from school are due corresponding to meets and games you have. “But how will I have time to do all my homework between my games and practices?” you may ask. The answer is do homework every chance you get.
Some coaches set time aside for their athletes to do homework before and during practice. Instead of using this time to be social, use it to knock out a huge chunk of homework. “Managing your time during the season can be tough. I usually try to do homework on the bus so I have less to do at home,” Jenny Zhang, another fellow Prospect intern, shares. Doing homework at or on the way to meets and games will save you time in the long run.
Being involved in a sports team during high school isn’t just another quality about you to add to your list of extracurriculars, it’s an activity that can open new doors for you. It’s a chance for you to learn new things, and make new friends. All you have to do pick the right sport, manage your time, and enjoy yourself. And always make sure you get enough sleep because a well rested athlete is a happy athlete!