By Jenna Bahnsen

Being a collegiate athlete, especially at the Division I level, comes with many challenges. The demanding schedule of a NCAA Division I athlete requires a lot of discipline and exceptional time management skills.

Finding a balance between school and athletics can be a difficult task for collegiate athletes. With classes all day, practice all night, and games on the weekend there is minimal time for homework and studying.

Sophomore bowler Lexis Ortiz said: “In order to balance school and athletics, I have a planner to help keep me organized. I am able to plan out when I can do assignments so it won’t conflict with practice or tournaments.”

Planning out time to work on assignments is very important and ensures there is time to get everything done. Student athletes have various obligations and it can be hard to remember everything without writing it down.

Junior bowler Taylor Smith said: “Being a student athlete is very tough and most people don’t understand the commitment it takes to excel in both academics and athletics.

“Constantly juggling team meetings, practices, working out, and classes is extremely hard and takes a lot of time management. I personally use a planner to help me organize my time and ensure I do not miss deadlines or practices.

“Being a student athlete is all about dedication and knowing that the work being put in now will help us be more organized, committed adults in the future.”

One of the most important aspects of being a student athlete is being self disciplined.  Student athletes are often held to a much higher standard than other college students.

The minimum free time that we have must be spent on homework and studies rather than hanging out with friends or outside hobbies.

During tournament weekends it is sometimes necessary to bring homework on the road. Getting work done on the bus or at night in the hotel helps to utilize all available time and free up time to rest when you return from the weekend.

Freshman bowler Victoria Hollywood said: “The way I balance school and bowling is by trying to get assignments done as soon as I get them. I also do homework on the bus or in the hotels if we are traveling for a tournament.”

As a student athlete there is no room for procrastination. Leaving an assignment to the last minute often times leads to it not getting done and results in a low grade.

Student athletes must maintain a certain GPA in order to remain eligible and coaches often encourage their teams to make All-American (3.4 GPA). 

Maintaining a high GPA while  belonging to an athletic team is no easy task and requires  a lot of responsibility and commitment. You have to stay up to date on assignments and find the time to get work done without being reminded.

Sophomore bowler Victoria Doto said: “Between school and athletics, I make sure to get homework and studying done before practice, workouts, and tournament weekends. Once all my schoolwork is done, I can fully focus on my sport”

It can be hard to focus on your athletic performance when thoughts of homework, papers, and exams are in your head.

In order to ensure you can be fully focusd on your game it is essential to have all other responsibilities taken care of prior to competition and practice.

As a student athlete it can be challenging to balance responsibilities but we are provided the tools to be successful and have the skills to accomplish both our academic and athletic goals.

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