With classes and tests, practices and games, SAT’s and college applications – not to mention a social life – there’s no doubt that as a student-athlete, you’ve always got a lot on your plate. Whether it’s now or in the future, learning to manage your time is an
important step to success that will help you gain control of your day, accomplish more and reduce some of the stress life throws your way. And most importantly, by taking control of your time and organizing your life, you’ll have a greater chance of reaching your goals both on and off the field.
Here are our top how-to tips on mastering time management:
- Make a To-Do List & Prioritize. At the end of the day, make a list of all that you plan to accomplish the next day. First, start by listing everything on a scratch piece of paper. After you’ve written down each task, number each in order of importance. Then, re-write your list of to-do’s in order of importance along with any color-coding or symbols you find helpful. Creating a list the night before will not only help you remember everything you need to get done, but it will set you up for a successful day from the start.
- Use Time Management Tools. Whether it’s written in a planner or programmed into your phone, keep your list and schedule with you. Be sure to fill in any regular tasks or activities in your calendar too. Blocking out those hours will help you plan your time wisely and avoid overestimating how many hours you actually have for homework and studying. Being able to see where you have open blocks of time, you can find more time to fit those to-do’s into your day.
- Find Your Right Schedule & Right Time. Figure out what works best for you. If you find that you do your best work in the afternoon, rather than at night, plan your day accordingly. When it comes to courses you find challenging, plan to focus on those when you’re most alert and get them knocked-out early. Once you know how you work best, try to establish a routine as much as possible.
- Become a Taskmaster. Give yourself a budget on time and plan your tasks and activities accordingly. Avoid spreading yourself too thin by figuring out how much free time you have each week before adding any commitments.
- And Spend Spare Minutes Wisely. Squeeze in any time waiting for practices or rides, in the car or on the bus, and during free time given in class or a study hall. All of that time could add up to an hour or more, so really make the most of it.
- Weed Out Time-Wasters. Find yourself loosing countless hours watching TV, playing video games or surfing online? Start tracking tasks and activities so you’re able to get a better picture of how you’re actually spending your time. Weeding out time-wasters will help you be more efficient throughout the day and open up time for friends and fun.
- And Block Out Distractions. When you’ve scheduled study time, close the door on distraction. Turn your phone on silent, log-out of Facebook and same for anything else you find taking your attention away from the task in front of you.
- Take Small Breaks. And as you’re checking off to-do’s, don’t forget to reward yourself with small breaks too. After an hour or more of studying, give yourself some time to clear your mind and release some extra energy. Go for a quick run, take a short walk, call a friend or you can always stop by our page to see what we’ve got for you too.
- Get Good Sleep, Maintain a Healthy Diet & Exercise. To perform at its peak, your brain needs plenty of sleep. Along with a good night’s sleep, living a healthy lifestyle will also help improve your focus and concentration so you’re able to get more done each day.
- Be Pro-Active. Be productive and tackle each task you’ve already set out to do. Wasting time procrastinating or worrying won’t get you anywhere, and will only leave you feeling stressed.
- And Be Realistic. Realize you can’t do everything today. Whether in the classroom or at practice, set high goals for yourself, but also ones that can be reached. Approach your goal-setting by being SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Looking at goals in these terms will help you set goals that are difficult, but reachable.
Mastering time management is incredibly valuable skill that you’ll use throughout your life. Look at theses tips as a guideline and personalize them to fit your lifestyle, and time will soon be on your side.
Check out lacrosse recruit Dalton Ortiz of McKinney, Texas. If you haven’t seen this midfielder’s skills yet, then wait no more – Take a good look at his skills tape filmed at the Michael Johnson Performance Center!
I am a hard working and devoted player…I work and push myself to the highest level capable so that I can reach to become an all around better athlete. – Dalton Ortiz on what he would like college coaches to know about himTo learn more about Dalton, check out his full profile here.
Although test day is getting near, there are still some last minute steps you can take to prepare!
First and foremost, be PRO-ACTIVE:
- If you’ve taken a prep course, keep everything you’ve learned fresh by reviewing any notes you may have taken.
- Make flash cards with vocabulary words and common math formulas you’ll find on the SAT. Use these to quiz yourself daily – Whether that means before or after practice, while waiting in line, or in between classes.
- And if you do better as part of a team, consider organizing a study group or partnering-up with a study buddy rather than studying solo.
- No matter how you squeeeze in the time, learn as much as you can about the test, your strengths and weaknesses, and how you can improve. And how else better to make sure you fit in those study sessions than by planning it…
PLAN your pathway to success:
- Whether this is your first test or your last, and whether your test is this week, next month or next year, start planning your course of action and how you’ll tackle each area of the SAT.
- Plan out a timeline from now until your test and start pencilling in regular study sessions from now until test time along with your own practice test dates and anything else you’ll need to do to in between.
- And as they say – “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance,” so why not start today.
Pack in as much PRACTICE as possible:
- And along with another age old adage – “Practice makes perfect,” and the best way to improve is, of course, to do just that.
- One of the best ways get in some good practice is by taking the test itself. SAT and ACT review books usually have at least one practice test with actual questions from past tests or sample questions similar to those you could expect on your upcoming test.
- In addition to practice tests, review books will also offer an explanation for correct answers as well, so you can learn from any answered incorrectly.
- So after you practice, practice and practice some more, you’ve still got a few do-to’s left on your list…
PREPARE for the big test day:
- Have your ID, pencils, erasers, calculator, water, snack, etc. ready to go the night before.
- If you’re not taking the test at your school, be sure to have directions printed out well ahead of time.
- Get plenty of sleep before taking the test, and set an alarm with plenty of extra time that morning.
- Go over a few practice questions before you’re out the door, just to keep your confidence up.
- Show up early, sign-in and get in your SAT zone.
Also, remember – PRIORITIZE to maximize:
- There are certain types of questions you can always expect on the SAT, so if you come across a question you’re not sure how to answer, then move along. You won’t loose any points for any unanswered questions, and you don’t want to miss out on points you’ll earn for all of those questions that you do know.
- If there is a question giving you a hard time, just jot down the number and go back to it later.
- By not getting lost in a few questions, you’ll maximize you’re time and you’re score and keep any worries or negativity at bay.
And lastly, stay POSITIVE:
- You already know so much more than you think. Keep a positive attitude, stay calm and remain focused throughout the test.
With all that being said, continue practicing, keep what we’ve mentioned in mind, and you’re sure to be on your way to ACEing the SAT.
How are you preparing for your SAT’s or ACT’s? Share your tips in the comments section!
Take a good look at baseball recruit Timothy Oezer of Racine, Wisconsin, and his skills video filmed at The Athlete Watch’s trusted training facility in Wisconsin!
Playing a sport in college is one of my primary goals. If I had the opportunity, I would be very thankful and appreciative. – Timothy Oezer on what it would mean to him to play baseball in college
For more on Timothy, check out his complete profile here.
Here at The Athlete Watch, we’ve been providing high school student-athletes with the tools to market themselves to colleges and universities around the world since January 2011, and now, we’d like to share even more of our knowledge and expertise.
Let me begin with introductions – Johnny Quinn, founder and president of The Athlete Watch, LLC, was a student-athlete himself, and faced the same challenges that many young athletes face today. Even as the leader in receptions in Texas, he still did not receive a scholarship until two days before signing day. In the end, Johnny signed a full scholarship to play football for the University of North Texas, and went on to play professionally for a few years as well before suffering an ACL injury. Towards the close of his career in the NFL and CFL, Johnny noticed there was still a lack of guidance being offered to high school student-athletes and parents in the recruitment process, and having gone through the process first-hand, he launched The Athlete Watch to help others along the way. And as for myself – I’m Jennifer Thomas, your blog editor and social media contact at The Athlete Watch. I’ve recently joined TAW team, and I’m thrilled to bring you the all of the latest news and updates in college recruitment. I hope you enjoy the conversation here and look forward to all of our posts!
We’ll be blogging about some of the most important topics in the recruitment process, such as Initial Eligibility, Academic Standards & Core Courses, the ACT & SAT, Grants & Programs, Health & Nutrition and much, much more.
We are excited to be a part of your journey throughout the recruitment process! We hope we can offer you every piece of wisdom possible along the way, and to hear from you as well. And even more so, we truly believe this will help us to better provide you with the knowledge and tools to make your dreams become reality!
Be sure to check out The Athlete Watch on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn! We truly value your input, so please feel free comment as well as let us know how we can make the information we share more useful, valuable and engaging. Also, we welcome you to reach out to us via email as well at Info@TheAthleteWatch.com!
✓ Academics – Grades to get into college and your desire to earn a degree.
✓ Athletic ability – Necessary skills along with your hard work.
✓ Ability to market yourself – Get your name in front of college coaches.