6 Helpful Tips for Balancing Your Soccer and Academic Careers
In high school, finding a good balance between academics and soccer was challenging. But I knew if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to reach my dreams of being a college soccer player.
Here are six helpful tips for finding that perfect balance between your soccer and academic careers:
1. As a rule of thumb, focus on your academics first
Yes, you will learn countless lessons on the field, but you won’t get into college if you have poor grades.
If you want to be able to play soccer in college, know that they will definitely be looking at your grades and test scores. I remember one of my coaches telling our team to make sure we were focusing on our schoolwork first. He told us that we should be working on getting better at soccer whenever we get the chance but that our academics should be top priority.
Be committed to greatness in everything you do.
2. Take your time on your academic work and try to get ahead if possible
If you have a game on a Thursday night and a test on Friday, study well beforehand so that you aren’t stressing about it all on Thursday when you have a game that night.
You have to be able to shift your focus consistently and seamlessly.
3. Ask for extra help if and when you need it
Whether you need help in soccer or in the classroom, don’t let your pride get in the way of being the best student and best athlete you can be.
Also, don’t wait until you really are in desperate need of tutoring. When you’re realizing that you don’t really understand that math topic, go ask for help immediately and remedy the situation. The sooner, the better so you don’t fall behind.
4. Study or do schoolwork with your teammates
Even if you go to different high schools you can still meet up and work at the library or someone’s house.
My club team used to do this at tournaments. If we were staying in a hotel, some of us who wanted to study or work on homework would all hang out in the conference room or lobby and work together. It always seemed to bring us closer together as a team even if it didn’t seem fun at the time.
5. Be organized
I always found it helpful to use an assignment notebook or planner of some kind. Write down everything.
Make sure you know when you have practices, games, classes, quizzes, tests, projects, speeches, physical therapy, etc. This way you can plan ahead and see when you have extra time to dedicate elsewhere.
6. Remember the bigger picture
Even if you do get the opportunity to play soccer at the next level, it won't last forever. The education that you learn during your years in school will help you for a lifetime, so always remember to think about all the benefits that it has on your future off the field.