Empowering Athletes for a Life Without Limits

Being a student athlete is overwhelming. Trying to balance school work, practices, workouts, and in some cases part-time jobs is hard. This is where time management becomes extremely important.

We’ve gathered the 5 secrets to managing your time as a student-athlete with the help of NCAA Division I track and field middle-distance runner, Michael Coccia, from the Ole Miss varsity team. Michael is a student-athlete, finishing up his master’s degree at the University of Mississippi while working two jobs and excelling in his sport.

*Michael was 46th at the 2021 NCAA Cross-Country Nationals in Tallahassee, Florida, leading the Ole Miss team to a 15th place finish.

You might think that he is spreading himself a little thin, but he still finds time to accomplish all of his daily tasks and work commitments with the help of the following time management secrets.

Tip #1: Use an online calendar to organize your schedule

It’s important to organize your college classes, workouts and your part-time job (if you have one) into a calendar.

“I use an online calendar and enter all my tasks for the week in it. My days are planned out carefully,” explains Michael.

As a student-athlete, doing so will help you remember assignment due dates and plan ahead. Trust us, get a calendar!

Watch more on Michael’s organization tips in his latest YouTube vlog below.

Tip #2: Prioritize your tasks

It’s easy to feel like you haven't achieved  much when you can’t complete everything on your to-do list.

As a student-athlete, it's important to prioritize your assignments, meetings and anything else you need to get done throughout your week. Inevitably, there will be some weeks when you won’t be able to accomplish everything you planned, but if you prioritize your work appropriately, it won’t be a huge deal.

You don’t want to end up working on something that is due in two weeks, when you have a ten-page paper due the next morning that you haven’t started yet.

“I prioritize what is more important first and leave tasks that have a later due date at the bottom of my list,” explains Michael.

Tip #3: Use your weekends for organizing yourself

During the week, when you are restricted by your time, it is hard to fit in daily chores like washing your clothes and cooking healthy meals.

It’s important to use your weekends to do those chores and to really get a head start on your week. Getting some “meal prep” done for the week ahead is key for a student-athlete and will save you a lot of time.

Tip #4: Have a productive workspace

Michael likes to separate his work space from his personal space. He keeps his bedroom strictly for sleep, separating it from where he does his work. By creating a productive workspace in his student-athlete shared house, he explains that it helps him get more things done during the day.

Michael shows his workspace in the video below.

Tip #5: Hustle, nothing comes easy

“You need to want it and hustle for it. You just have to grind. It might not look like student-athletes have the most exciting lives, but trust me, college sport is worth it and very fun,” says Michael.

Working hard is definitely not something you can neglect if you want to be a successful student-athlete.

Make sure to keep those secret tips to time-management in mind if you find yourself struggling with being a student-athlete in college.

If you’re a high school track and field/XC athlete planning on going to college, sign-up for your free college recruitment profile below.

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