Successful student-athletes are among the busiest students on campus. Between class, practice, workout and games (including travel) they’re is isn’t much time left for studying at the end of the day. I spend an average of 4 hours a day at the rink through out the week, and weekends are a whole other story. Here’s 5 tips to thrive both academically and athletically in the role of a varsity athlete.

Keep your priorities in check.Photo by flickr user nmhphotos, licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0.

It’s easy to get caught up in the athletic side of college life. After all, the field is much more glorious then the classroom, but don’t forget your ultimate goal in college is to earn a degree. The way you choose to order your priorities is up to you, but if boozing and ChatRoulette crack the top 3, you may want to reevaluate.

Keep a firm grasp on your schedule

One of the best things about being a varsity athlete is the structure that is automatically built into your life. Practice at 4 O’clock each day, video session Tuesday morning, games every Friday and Saturday. Not to mention the fact that 20 of your closest friends are on the exact same schedule. Where conflict arises is when you have a paper due on Monday morning but you’re leaving on a 2 game road trip friday afternoon. By anticipating these situations weeks in advance you can work stress free and score high both on and off the court (Pretty clever, eh?). Pick an organization system that works for you and stick to it.

Work on the go

Long bus trip, why not get a few readings done? Arrive early for practice, why not do a quick review of yesterday’s lecture? If you can learn to study in less than ideal conditions, you can take advantage of time that would otherwise be wasted.

Make use of the resources provided to you

Most athletic programs allocate resources to their varsity athletes to help them succeed academically, however most athletes fail to take advantage of these privileges. Tutoring, private study space and study skills workshops are services usually provided free of charge to varsity athletes. Inquire with your schools athletic department if you’re in need of any help.

Make use of your “celebrity” status

To many of you, this last tip may be unethical. The reality is, many professors are more lenient on varsity athletes in the grading department and are often more forgiving in the event that you need an extension. Introduce yourself, give your professor a pair of free tickets and don’t be afraid to give them your inside perspective on the team if you happen to run into them on campus. When research opportunities come up, they’ll like choose you over Point Dexter. 

When it comes to varsity athletics, you really can have your cake and eat it too. Hopefully with these simple tips you can succeed on and off the court and have a little fun along the way.