How to Balance Tennis and School
There is a Catch-22 for any student wanting to get into a good college or graduate program. These schools want to show you are a balanced individual by demonstrating top of the class grades combined with a lot of extracurricular activities. Those extracurricular activities, though, often take up a lot of time, which makes it harder to study and do homework. Thus, it is harder to get good grades.
But you don’t play tennis just for the note on your resume. You play it because you love it. So even without the Catch-22, you want to be out on the court playing the game you love. That’s why you take lessons, go to summer camp, and condition. So how do you keep doing all of that, and still have time to get the grades you need to get into a good school – or at least good enough to let you stay on the team?
5 Tips to Getting Everything Done
There are many ways you can balance your time and get your schoolwork done right while still getting all the tennis time you need to play to the best of your ability. Here are five ways to get started, though.
- Set specific times to study and do homework.
If you want to balance everything in your life, you have to get organized. Do not just let the week fly by and hope you have time to do everything you need to do. You have to plan.
Set specific time to study and do your homework. You know that you are going to get work throughout the week. You also know you are going to have practice. So make sure you have set time every day to get things done so that you never have to miss a practice or match in order to get your assignments done.
You may not know exactly what homework will be assigned in advance, but you do know that something is likely to be assigned. So make sure you are prepared and already have adequate time set apart to accomplish it.
- Study on buses, car trips, plane rides, and other means of transportation.
If you play a sport, chances are you travel to away games. If you don’t drive, you also have to ride to school. If you go on vacation, you need transportation to get there.
Everyone cannot use this tip. If you have problems with car sickness, for example, it may not be for you. However, if you can do this with no problems, you should.
Using travel time to study or do schoolwork is a great way to balance everything you have going on in your life. Even if all you have time for is a short review of flash cards, it can make a huge difference.
So take advantage of commutes and transportations. They make perfect vehicles for studying. Pun intended.
- Weekends give you a lot more time to get what you need to do done.
Nobody likes to work on the weekends. That is your time to relax and enjoy being away from school. Sorry, but you should be doing it anyway. The weekend is actually the perfect time to get a lot done.
Because you do have so much more free time on the weekend than you do during the week, you need to take advantage of it. Make sure you get a lot done on Saturdays and Sundays because the more you do then, the less you have to worry about during the week.
You do not need to spend every minute of your days off worrying about school. Make sure you have some fun too or else you might burnout. However, do not let it pass by idly, either. It is a great time to get things done.
- Procrastination will kill your efforts.
It is so easy to procrastinate. “I’ll get to that later.” “I just need to take a break for a while.” “I really need to do [insert activity really designed to procrastinate here].”
Wanting to put off working is understandable. However, it is also dangerous if you want to succeed in both school and tennis. You already have limited amounts of free time, if you waste ten minutes here, a half an hour there, it builds up. Next thing you know, you have a lot of work to do but no time to do it. Say goodbye to Saturday night’s party, you need to finish that big project you’ve known about for a month.
- Use free time wisely.
Basically what everything boils down to is this: if you want to succeed in both tennis and school, you have to learn to use your free time wisely.
This can mean a lot of things.
• Actually study during study hall or your free period.
• If an unexpected burst of free time pops up, use it to study.
• Follow all the other tips listed above.
If you start using your time wisely, then you will be much better able to balance everything in your life that needs to be balanced.
Why It Matters
Good grades gets you into colleges, lets you play on school-affiliated teams, and just looks and feels good. Playing sports gets you in shape, looks good on resumes, and is a lot of fun. And according to Jeanne Goodes’s article on Breaking Muscle, playing sports can actually make you a better student.
So there are great reasons to both, and that is why finding a balance is so important.