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Balancing time between school, sports and work

Student athletes at SU challenge themselves on and off the field with the balance of practice, games, school, and even work. Image courtesy of Rajan Turner

Life for student-athletes can be challenging. Waking up up at 5:30 a.m. to go to practice followed by three classes in succession can be physically and mentally exhausting.

Student-athletes devoting their time to playing a sport that they love while trying to study, do homework and complete projects can be difficult. Managing these obligations requires excellent time management skills.

Adding work to the mix complicates the challenge. This is the reality that some students must face. Whether it be a personal situation which requires they work, or they simply want some extra cash while playing their favorite sport and seeking a degree.

Whatever the case, it may hinder the ability of some student-athletes from performing to the best of their ability. Whether it is in the classroom, in the workplace, on the field, court or respective playing surface. Working can also be a positive, equipping young adults with important skills they can use for the rest of their lives.

Kristen Ging, a junior at SU, is a member of the Salisbury Women’s Soccer team. Between going to practices, games and meetings, Ging also works as a head assistant for the math department on campus, and has set up annual high school math competitions and distributed course evaluations as part of her job. Ging says that it got difficult trying to balance school, soccer, and work, but it also helped her.

“It forced me to be more organized with my schedule so I could designate time to each of my priorities,” Ging said. “If I was behind in my schoolwork, then I couldn't focus at work or at soccer. If I felt like I had a bad game, it would be on my mind at school and work, this motivated me to make sure I was performing my best in school and soccer so that I wouldn’t stress about it later.”

Caroline Daly, a junior at SU, plays on the Salisbury Women’s Lacrosse team. Daly also works inside Maggs Gym, assisting Salisbury University Head Athletic Equipment Specialist, Tim Smith, with the handling of athletics sportswear. Daly feels she works best with an overloaded schedule.

“As time consuming and tiring as it can be to balance school, work and sports, I feel more productive when I have a busy schedule," Daly said. "I like to have a plan of action for my day and check off the list, allowing myself time to relax or do homework later in the day. Holding myself accountable with a busy schedule helps me with my time management and communication skills,”

 “Prioritizing each task during the day is super important, but my health and family are always at the top of my priorities. Managing my health, stress and sleep is key to staying on top of my busy schedule.”

Although some students come into college already committed to a sport under the NCAA, others decide to play their favorite sport differently by joining an intramural or club team. They can also face the same level of stress.

Kyle Perry, a current senior at SU, took this approach and decided to join the Salisbury University’s Club Lacrosse Team. Perry has been a member of the club team for several years. While shooting goals and being a student, Perry also works at the coffee shop, Rise Up. Perry says it started off very challenging for him to manage three priorities. But it eventually became less complicated.

“I was really overwhelmed with trying to fit everything in my schedule all at once," Perry said. "Even though it was a rough start, I used scheduling and time management skills to help me excel at these priorities. Juggling all three sometimes changes how I perform due to the circumstances and how overwhelmed I am. But I strive every day to be the best in each of these factors in my life.”

Student-athletes all have their different ways of adjusting to their unique adversity. To some it may be challenging and to others, it may be easy. But one thing they all have in common is that they all find a way to do it. Could you?


By Ki’Sean Gray

Staff Writer

Featured image courtesy of Rajan Turner

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