This is the second part of the student athlete post. If you missed the previous one, feel free to read it here. I will share a few key elements of what to do, to ensure that you give it your all as a student and athlete. I am a student athlete myself and will share what helps me to make each day successful.
As a student athlete you have to ask yourself: what is the most important to you. Studies or sports. Being in a professional set up, knowing that it is an uncontrolled environment, putting your studies first will put you in control of your life. Studies are controllable and are in your hands. The benefit though is that you will walk out with a degree and be a competitive sportsman or woman. Then you have nothing to lose. This is not the only things you have to prioritize. When you are a student athlete you have a busy schedule and many responsibilities to give attention to. You need to limit wasting time on watching TV and sitting around and doing nothing. Through prioritizing you make a list of the things that is most important to you. You rank it from most to least important. With that you will divide the time that you need to spend on each task. This will save you time. Llewellyn wrote an article about needing to know your musts, you can read it here.
Time management is a skill that you will learn over time as a student. It is not only to give you an outline of how your week will look, but also how much time you have during the day to focus on your “must”. With effective planning your week, you will get to most things done. In the beginning your time management will be bad, but it is a process that you need to fine tune. You will notice how much time you spend on irrelevant things that hinder you from getting the job done. Prioritizing and time management go hand on hand with each other and is an awesome way to make your life easier.
This is a broad spectrum of many sub categories that has an influence on your health and work capacity. This is an important element for a student athlete. You do not only have a busy schedule, but you sit for long periods which has an effect on your biomechanics.
There is no disputing that sleep is important to recovery. Read about that here and here. As a fellow student athletes it is hard to get more than 5 hours sleep in at night. Having a busy schedule and juggling professional sport with studies you seldom get more than 7 hours sleep at night. The solution is a power nap of 30 min or less. This has great benefits to give you that extra working capacity to get through the day.
Yes there are a lot of meal plans to follow but it is very important to keep in mind that your eating plan should complement your training. Plan your eating times. Know when you need to snack, eat lunch or drink your protein shake. Have a general meal plan and supplement intake that you can follow daily. This keeps you on point.
As soon as you manage to do this every day you will see the benefits in training. As a student athlete you are required to sit for long periods of time during class or doing assignment and studying. Doing your mobility will ensure that you stay flexible and ready to train.
Doing this before bed or in the morning even after training is a great off switch which helps recovery.
I call it escape because you get a day or weekend if possible and totally switch off from all your work and training. Get out go for a hike, movie, fishing whatever makes you feel relaxed and get your mind of training and studies. This gives you a fresh mind-set to get back and work even harder.
Get a mentor and be a mentor
This can be a friend, father, coach anyone. Having a mentor is great to help you get another view point on what you are busy with and where you are heading in life. Your mentor is there to inspire, listen and give good advice. This made a big difference in my life. Also to be a mentor and coach to someone else give you a wider perspective on life and you also learn from them. Coaching the sport you love to others not only helps you get another perspective in sport, but it gives you the opportunity to give back to the sport and influence others.
Jocko Willink an Ex – Navy seal commander. He describes the mind set one should have when going to college. Go and Crush it. You have your goals, dreams and aspirations. Now give everything to achieve it. Go CRUSH it.
There are many things that can help you to be a better student athlete. This is just my version. Every day is an opportunity to be better and become a more capable human.
By Justin Benn