Becoming a Pro-Napper: A Guide for Time Management
Upon arriving to college, you are greeted with a type of independence most have not yet faced; every decision you make is truly in your own hands. One of the biggest lessons I learned as soon as I began my collegiate soccer career was that I am an athlete, but first and foremost I am a student. Being an active member of a university’s athletic program is a privilege, one that would not be possible without a solid academic background.
As a student-athlete, your participation in your sport is dependent on your academic status, so remembering where your priorities lie is key in continuing to keep this privilege. No matter what major you choose to pursue, you will still be faced with challenges and conflicts where your athletic and academic schedules may overlap. Obviously, other majors will be more demanding than others (I am a mechanical engineering major so I am quite familiar with potential academic rigor), but regardless of your choice of career path, both sport and school will require dedication, passion, and mental and physical strength. That is where these two areas illustrate their biggest similarity: both demand sacrifice to be successful. The largest sacrifice is easily your time. You may find yourself only having a few chunks of spare time throughout your day. During these gifts of leisure, it is up to you to determine how to manage this time before having to perform whatever task is next on your schedule.
As athletes, we are constantly reminded how important it is to recover properly. One huge piece of recovery includes sleep. Having a proper sleep schedule is critical so that your body can handle the hours of exertion each day. Getting those 8-10 hours of sleep per night can dramatically improve your performance while also limiting your chances of injury due to tiredness. Even then, you will often find yourself tired at random points throughout the day. In those spare minutes you have, taking power naps can aid in providing you an extra boost of energy needed to complete your day. According to the Sleep Foundation, 10-to-20-minute naps are recommended to accomplish this physical reset, and that may be all the free time you have anyways. If you take advantage of this short time interval, you may just become a pro-napper as I too have declared myself to be! In the case that you are allotted a longer break period, times outside of a 10–to minute range, for example, you can ensure you will get those 8 hours of sleep and not be straining to stay up late to finish homework. This time frame is what I like to call prime “grind-time” hours. These times are great for knocking out homework and zoning in on checking off as many items on your task list as possible. If you are able to divide your time and prioritize recovering, napping, and doing schoolwork, you will make your transition to college much easier on yourself, while also creating a solid schedule that will bring you gratifying success. So, like all things, practice makes perfect! Plan ahead and predict what will work best for you in your endeavor to become a pro-napper!
Blog Contributed by : Lady Baller Ambassador, Kennedy Berschel. Kennedy is a Division 1 soccer player. She plays center midfielder and a sophomore studying mechanical engineering. She's from a suburb of Chicago, IL and is passionate about helping other young female soccer players accomplish their goals of playing college soccer in any way that she can.