Being a student-athlete comes with an abundance of perks: exercise, competitiveness, keeping you out of trouble, and friendship. The list goes on and on, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Responsibility that most teenagers tend to put aside and only confront when necessary. These days, academics is taking a back seat to athletics, which teenagers rationalize as they have to be working the hardest at their sport to be the best.

I know those days when you believe you had the worst practice or the worst game and the only thing that will counteract your performance is none other than more practice! I’d think, “Who cares if I have a midterm tomorrow morning, I have a swing to perfect!” In real life though, my perfect swing won’t mean much if I don’t make the grades to be eligible to play. It’s a double-edge sword. Below I listed some great tips on how to maintain excellence on and off the field.

1)      Don’t postpone homework!

Many athletes put their homework off till the last minute. They have class all day then use the entire afternoon to practice. Instead of using all this time for your sport, finish your homework first and make sure you have all your classes covered. Instead of making a list of excuses (I’m tired, I’m hungry, I deserve a break, I’ll get to it later) use that energy to get your homework done! Postponing your homework is the foundation of falling behind. You will feel a lot better about being finished with your home work at 5 p.m. as opposed to 11 p.m.! You wouldn’t fall behind in your sport so don’t do it in the classroom.

2)      Always pay attention in class.

This rule is to all my student-athletes that think class time means catching up on your sleep! Paying attention in class means less work for you later. If you understand the material you can get your work done in class or it will make your homework time go by quicker. You will play better knowing that your grades are taken care of. It’s one less thing to stress about.

3)      Manage your social schedule.

I know you can’t help that everyone loves you and wants to hang out with you on the weekend. This might seem difficult at first, but if you truly want to be a serious athlete cutting down on your social activities is necessary. Try to surround yourself with friends that have the same goals as you. When you do this, you won’t find yourself out late on a Friday night when you have to be up early the next morning for a game. Instead, invite a teammate over to relax and watch a movie. That way you’re relaxing your body and mind before the game.

The best part about being a student-athlete is enjoying your success both in the classroom and on the field. Don’t be intimidated by the tiresome schedule, instead see it as a challenge that you WILL be the best in your sport and in school. Personally, all of the sacrifices I made early on in my career have completely paid off. I used to miss all the Friday nights at the movies, but now I get to travel around the world playing the sport I love with my close friends as my teammates. Lastly, colleges love recruiting athletes with great time management skills!

Tweet with Francesca Enea: @frangator10

 

About USSSA Florida Pride:

The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.

About NPF:

National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.

About USSSA:

The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!