LIFESTYLE NEWS - Increasing numbers of school children participate in high-level sport.
With this taking up a lot of time in practices, competing and travel, it becomes more difficult to keep up with the schoolwork.
We compiled a few tips for learners who have to keep all these balls in the air:
Remember, no matter how far you go in sport, a good education is always a firm foundation for life, so academics should be high up there on your agenda. When sport is a big part of your life, this should rank about equal with academics. Having fun is also important. Together with sport, it relaxes you and gives your brain some oomph for the next study session. Plan your other activities around these three.
Planning and drawing up a timetable will help you maintain the necessary discipline. Keep the bigger picture in mind - plan your monthly or weekly studying around known events such as sports games and practices, tests or exams - and stick to the schedule!
Developing planning skills now will stand you in good stead throughout your life.
Make a timetable
Use tools like a desk or wall planner or a time management app to help you draw up a schedule. Besides your standard activities, don't forget to factor in things like travelling time and unforeseen eventualities (vehicle breakdown or unplanned-for visitors). When you have the basic hours set out, plan the hours that are left to include studying at home, sleep, relaxation etc.
Don't waste study time
Plan effectively. Use the quickest travelling options to get to your daily activities, and if have to commute, use the time to study or do Internet research. Likewise, use little pockets of time that come available throughout the day productively. Find quiet time to study - your brain works optimally if it can concentrate on one thing at a time. Don't allow distractions (social media, social visits) to intrude in your priority times.
Do assignments and homework as soon as you get them. We all know that rushed, panicky feeling when we've waited till the last minute, not to mention losing sleep or missing scheduled activities because of a looming assignment deadline. This also has a knock-on effect, making you fall behind on your timetable and causing stress that could have been avoided.
The aim of planning is to reduce your stress levels by making you feel more in control. If possible, rather stay ahead of your schedule.
Listen to your body
Your body needs rest. If you don't get sufficient sleep and relaxation, your performance, both academic and in sport, will suffer. Recognise signs that you are overdoing things (falling asleep in class, losing interest, being irritable and unable to concentrate) and address the problem.
Ask for help
If you're struggling, ask your parents, teachers or counsellors for help and advice.
Keep your goal in mind
Reminding yourself what you want to achieve will motivate you and help you stick to your schedule. And of course, the sense of achievement is a great motivator.
It's amazing what can be achieved if you love what you're doing.
If you have passion for it, and go about it with discipline, you can do it!
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