Life of each athlete varies a lot. There are 24 hours every day that are spent differently and there are thousands of things that can be done within these hours. Time spent on training, recovery, eating and sleeping takes most of the day. And then there is the time which is left and must be filled very carefully with the activities that won´t have any negative impact on the athlete´s performance. Nowadays, there are so many options the athletes can choose from. In this article, I will specifically talk about how to manage the spare time with the education and I’ll share with you some of my own experiences of how it is to be a full-time athlete while being successful as a student too.
„Being fully aware of the main priority gives an opportunity to carry out other minor activities that will have a positive impact on the overall self-performance which in the end matters the most.“
Building a double career, sport and study, is a big challenge that requires a true courage, an understanding of priorities and a focus on the optimal time consumption on both things. In this case, the first priority is considered to be the sport direction and the second one is the education. Set-up of an equal importance of priorities is too risky due to a time pressure and mind confusion, and it could have consequences such as frustrations, depressions or in the worst case a possible burn-out.
Psychological point of view
The secret key lays in the head. What does that mean? Our mind controls everything, so it’s extremely important to know and believe that you can do it, when you really want to. Setting up a positive mindset at the beginning and keeping it until the end will definitely bring success in both careers, as an athlete and as a student. Yes, it´s easy to do it when all the things work out. But what if something goes wrong? Obviously, following two paths is not like walking freely on the beach and it’s hard to stay focused all the time. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. There are always going to be ups and downs, victories, failures, unexpected things that we can’t change...but in the end it’s all about how we perceive the reality and how fast we get back on the track. What I’ve acknowledged so far is to always “see the good things in the bad things.” It’s very simple. If you fail an exam, you get a second attempt. If you lose a game, you learn the mistakes that can be avoided next time. If you just have a really bad day, tomorrow will be better. In conclusion, the mental strength is very important. Positive attitude and belief always work for me the best. Negativity, doubts and excuses appear occasionally but are definitely not favorable.
Tactical point of view
So, that was a little bit of psychology that can as well be applied to anything else in life. There are few other key things in order to manage sport and study at the same time:
1 = planning. Having a precise schedule. Organizing each day wisely and according to the priorities. It is going to be busy and it might be scary too. But after all, it helps to get your mind ready and it prepares you for different activities in advance.
2 = making the right decision when choosing the study program. It must fit well with the personal interests since studying something that is completely disliked might end up with several difficulties.
3 = making sure that the class attendance is not mandatory. Most likely some of the lectures will have to be missed as they will often overlap with the training times.
4 = accepting a home self-study and saying “no” to the party life. Obviously, social interaction is required to build a small network in order to be a part of the school community and to gather all the class materials and information.
"As a conclusion, yes, it is possible to be a full-time athlete and to be a student at the same time. It requires a strong positive mindset and a proper time management."