Being a student-athlete can feel so overwhelming. You don’t know which one consumes your life more: Your student-life and the accompanying assignments? Or your sport and its accompanying games and practices? And that’s not even mentioning your family life, social life, or even a job. That’s why we wanted to take a moment and focus your attention on the idea of finding balance in your life, and how it applies to water polo.
Facing the demanding schedule of a student-athlete will be very unsettling, at times. You might even have friends with loads of free time because they lack a lot of the extra commitments you have signed up for. So why should you do it? If it’s just going to make your life more hectic? Well, it’s because learning to master that busy schedule will result in a substantial amount of personal growth. And mastering that demanding lifestyle is accomplished as you find balance.
We have a few tips here that can help student-athletes master their schedule.
1. Goal setting
Envision yourself and where you want to be 5, 10, or 20 years from now. What are your long-term goals? After you have a clear picture of that, think of the short-term goals that are going to put you on a trajectory to reach those long-term goals.
With all the different ways you could spend your time, you need to sort out which ones are most important to helping you reach your goals, and which ones aren’t?
3. Time management
Learning to properly divide your time so every goal you’ve set is getting enough attention from you.
4. Make a daily schedule
Physically write down your schedule so you can see what you’re expecting of yourself that day. If it’s a really busy day and you’re feeling extra overwhelmed, don’t focus on everything you have to get done for the day. Just focus on what’s right in front of you until you’ve completed it, then move on to the next one. We go through our daily schedules one step at a time.
Finding balance by not getting out of focus:
It’s important to work hard at water polo. Being the best athlete you can be is all we can ask for. But it’s important to remember that life is fulfilling in so many ways apart from the pool. Water polo is just one area of your life. It’s an important area, but it’s not everything.
It’s important to keep this perspective we just mentioned because if you find yourself hyper-focused in one area of your life, it’s always gonna come at the expense of the other areas of your life.
For example: If you make practicing water polo too much of a priority and start spending an unreasonable amount of extra time practicing on your own, you might also be giving up some of the time that should have been saved for other areas of your life such as schoolwork or family. When this happens, you now have a smaller amount of dedicated time for these areas. This increases the amount of stress and anxiety within yourself, and instead of finding fulfillment in those other areas, you’re feeling rushed and incomplete. And, as expected, that extra stress and anxiety will start to affect you in your sport. And the cycle continues…
As you can see, getting hyper-focused into one area gets your life out of balance. And it can start to negatively compound and slowly start affecting other areas of your life. It may not be an immediate thing, but it will slowly start to build and get worse as time goes on. Getting out of balance work doesn’t work for you, it works against you.
In contrast, having a balanced life where all the areas of your life are given an appropriate amount of attention brings fulfillment and stabilization. And that fulfillment begins to seep into every area of your life. You will be able to focus more on every area of your life without feeling rushed or anxious. You will feel successful in all the areas of your life, instead of just one. And all of this will positively compound in your favor.
This doesn’t mean that getting your life in balance will automatically solve all of your current and future problems. Problems are something we all face, big or small. But, which cycle would you rather have when facing those inevitable problems? One that is overall positive and helps you focus better? Or one that only increases the negativity?
One of the most valuable lessons you can learn in life is putting your life in proper balance. It’s only after you do this, that you can completely focus on what is right in front of you. You will then be able to give 100% to water polo, and every other area of your life. Finding the proper balance is a great tool to help you find success and fulfillment in all areas of life.
Image courtesy of Pixabay