If you are a sports player and are keen to continue to develop your talent while at university, you will have plenty of opportunities to do so. Your ability could open the door to universities that may not have accepted you based purely on academic qualifications – especially if the university in question focuses on the sport of your choice. However, you will need to ensure that you balance both your studies and your participation in competitive sports.
Whenever anyone tries to do two things at the same time, he or she needs to call on time management skills to make the most of available time. Ensure that you know all your deadlines well in advance so that you can start work on them in plenty of time. Do both a bit of sports practice and study most days so that you don’t need to get everything done at the last minute. Make the most of time spent on public transport and waiting for study/sports sessions by reading material for your courses.
Pay attention in lectures
You will obviously need to do more than just attend lectures in order to pass your course, but make sure that when you are there, you pay full attention and take detailed notes. You could also try recording lectures to listen to when travelling. That way, you will soak up an awful lot of knowledge that will stand you in good stead when writing assignments. Moreover, if your tutors can tell that you are paying attention and are making a real effort, they will be more likely to cut you some slack when you need it.
Ensure lecturers know your background
If you are part of a course with a limited number of students, the chances are that your lecturers know you very well. However, if you are part of larger classes, you may need to speak to your lecturers privately, so that if you do start to struggle, they at least understand the reason why. Hopefully, they will be more willing to provide extra tuition and extend deadlines when they think you need it. Don’t presume that they will automatically accept that you cannot get everything done on time.
Negotiate deadlines that clash with sporting activities
No matter how organised you are, there may be times when you simply have too much on and one thing or another simply has to be put on the back burner. In that case, talk to your lecturers and try to negotiate a special concession so that you can hand in assignments a little later than the others. Do make sure that this is really necessary though and avoid doing it too often, or your lecturers will start to feel that you are taking advantage of their good nature. This applies even when attending universities that encourage participation in sporting events.
University is a great time to meet people, make friends and try out new things. However, if you have a busy schedule anyway, you will need to limit your social life to a certain extent. Set aside a couple of evenings a week when you go out and enjoy yourself, but the rest of the time, focus on what is important – study and sports practice. Most importantly, when you do go out, go easy on the alcohol – otherwise you will waste time the next day recovering from a hangover. Sticking with friends who have similar agendas may help keep you on the straight and narrow.
Take advantage of your health
Regularly playing sports should do more than just ensure that you are fit; it should also mean that you sleep well and that your brain is particularly alert during day-time. This means that you can take advantage of your studying hours to get as much work done as possible in the least amount of time, compared to those who don’t take regular exercise. You will also hopefully be able to throw off bugs and infections much more quickly than fellow students. Try to avoid sports’ injuries by ensuring that you limber up well before practice.
It is perfectly possible to balance studying at university with playing competitive sports if you are organised and ask for help when necessary.