How Can Student-Athletes Use Their Time Effectively on the Road?

STUDY TIPS FOR TRAVELING STUDENT ATHLETES

The temptation to stick in your ear buds and zone out for a bus trip may be eminent, but it is a waste of valuable study time!

·         Be prepared BEFORE you leave for an away game. 

o   Organize pertinent notes, practice quizzes, and reading assignments the night before you leave.  There is no reason to lug a bunch of unnecessary materials while traveling.  You don’t want to be shuffling through a pile of unorganized papers, nor do you want to be schlepping around more than you need.

o   Create your own flash cards before you get on the bus or at the hotel.  A bumpy ride will result in illegible hand writing.

o   Download your reading assignments from Sakai and the web before leaving.   

·         A dark bus is not a good enough excuse to put the books away.  Invest in a head lamp.  They are as inexpensive as $5 on the Walmart website…shipping is only $ .97.  That is about $6.  That is well worth it for a few extra hours of study time!

·         Chances are some of your teammates will be taking the same classes as you.  Form a study group on the bus or in the hotel room.  Quiz each other, discuss projects, papers and readings together.  You may realize that your strength is a team mate’s area of weakness and vice versa.  You can help each other.

·         Bring your laptop (with a fully charged battery for the bus) and start an outline or paper. Give yourself a productive and realistic goal before checking facebook or your email.  For example: “I am going to complete my outline and write the introduction with a strong thesis statement before creeping on facebook.”

·         For those of you who suffer from travel sickness, consider a book on tape while traveling.  Check to see if any of your readings in Sakai (or anywhere on the web) have an audio option.  You could also have a team mate give you a verbal quiz on the bus if you promise to repay the favor back at the hotel. 

·         Study in shorter but more frequent segments.  According to Jessica Brondo, research has shown that students tend to remember better what they’ve read or studied first or last.  The middle part of a study session does not always resonate.  Study for a while and then take a short walk or stretch.  Quiz yourself before starting each new session to brush up on the main points.

·         SLEEP!!!  8 hours IS possible if you do not put off everything until the last minute and manage your time wisely.  You have most likely observed your non-athlete friends have more freedom with their time. They can pull off the all-nighters (not that they should, but we all know it happens).  As a student athlete, you really do not have that option if you want to perform well in the classroom AND on the field, court, track, course, etc. 

·         Create a schedule and stick to it.  Practice healthy eating and an exercise regimen all year long so you do not completely fall out of your routine and getting back into your season will not be such an adjustment. 

Written by Katie J. Spencer, Coordinator of Academic Development