Every student athlete wants to succeed. On top of a rigorous academic schedule, student athletes choose to devote 40+ hours a week to their sport. This life is not a typical or relaxing one, but it is fulfilling. It takes a person with a special drive to live the daily life of a student athlete. Below are five tips for student athletes they should master for success.
1) Choose Balance and Positivity
If you are deeply focused on sports with no room for academics, family, social life, and simple pleasures, your mind will suffer. Truly great student athletes nourish all aspects of their lives by striving for balance and looking on the positive. This healthy mindset will carry over from the classroom to the field, mat, or court.
2) Be Eager to Learn
Part of being an exceptional student athlete is being able to absorb knowledge everywhere you can get it. Take advantage of the time you have to learn in class. Learn how to study hard yet efficiently. Know what your teachers are looking for in assignments and put time into developing those ideas. In your sport, absorb the knowledge coaches have to offer. Most importantly, learn from competing. Learn how to be humble in your victories and how to overcome your losses. These lessons will ride with you for the rest of your life.
3) Focus on the Journey
Goal setting is common among student athletes. Becoming an All-American or national champion, making the dean’s list, winning a varsity match, etc.—to achieve these goals, we must focus on the journey. Being present in the moment and doing the little things right is more effective that obsessing over (but not working towards) the long-term goal. Practice and work to the best of your ability, eat and sleep correctly, and set time aside for homework.
4) Embrace Competition
Moments of competition are invaluable to student athletes. During my collegiate career, the nerves before a wrestling match often had me wondering, “Why am I choosing to do this?” After many years of blood, sweat, and tears, the fulfillment of success is like no other—and you grow to miss it. Take advantage of your opportunities to compete, embrace the nerves, relish the adrenaline, and know that these opportunities are sparse.
5) Prepare for What’s Next
Every student athlete needs to be ready for the end of their athletic career. Set yourself up for success and avoid post-athletic depression by doing something you are passionate about. Find a place where you can compete and work with people who will value the student-athlete in you. You are a student athlete. You enjoy competing, working hard in everything you do, and striving for success.
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