Balancing Academics and Athletics

By: 
Danny Viscardi
Class of: 
2017

Being a college student-athlete is no small commitment. On top of all of your schoolwork and class time, you have coach meetings, team meetings, scheduled workouts and lifts, and competitions that span over entire weekends. At first, it can seem as though a million things are going on at once. As a student-athlete, I feel there is never enough time in the day. The key to success in both academics and athletics comes with balance and proper time management. By now, the theme of “balance” can seem a little redundant, but with balance you realize that your assignments and tasks aren’t as overwhelming as you originally thought.

Coming from an athletic background throughout high school, I thought that coping with the rigors of college academia and being an athlete in my first year would be simple. Looking back now, I do not understand how I could have been so naïve. I completely underestimated the time commitment participating on a varsity sports team would entail and also did not take into consideration all of the homework, classwork, and lab assignments for each of my classes. I constantly felt that as soon as one assignment was completed, a million more would be piled up. There was no time for me to just enjoy hanging out with friends and relaxing. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I began to understand how to properly manage my time.

In my second year I found how useful and lifesaving a daily planner is (planners can be purchased at Brewer Bookstore right on campus). To my realization, I did have plenty of time in the day to complete all of my tasks. Throughout my first year, I was not prioritizing properly. Another time management mistake I made was not doing homework during the day; instead, I was saving it for after practice. This was not the most effective method and essentially led to constantly feeling overwhelmed. The balance between the two is that during the day, you are dedicated to your schoolwork, and then when 4:15 p.m. rolls around, all your focus can be centered on training for athletics. Assigning specific times in the day to either athletics or academics allows for you to find that balance.

Time management and prioritizing is a developed skill, and St. Lawrence has so many resources available to help student-athletes. Academic advising has an advising toolkit which can be found online, and academic planning worksheets that help with time management. From planning to organization, these services enhance your experience as a SLU student. Being a student-athlete has been a huge contributor to my college experience and I could not imagine campus life without athletics. The skills that I have learned in time management, both on my own and through the resources available to students, will carry into all aspects of my academic life as well as into my future career.