Set New Year’s Resolutions to Impact Your Life As a Student Athlete

BY LEAH HINKEY

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We all joke about it: the plan to eat right and then you end up at IN-N-OUT with your friends; the gym membership that will eventually disappear; putting an end to procrastinating with school work but before you know it you are pulling an all nighter to finish that project you totally spaced.

As a high school student athlete, setting goals isn’t just a matter of listing out a ton of your loftiest dreams and then forgetting about them. The goals you set as New Year’s resolutions, if they are reasonable and manageable, can help you in the college recruiting process.

Awesome job if you have already set some goals for 2018! If you haven’t, no biggie!

Check out some of the ideas below to help make you a better fit for the college roster at your dream school.

Make sleep a priority

Making sleep an important priority and a part of your school-training balance will help you better manage your time, stress, and recovery.

Athletes need at least 8 - 9 hours for optimal functioning.

If you do not get enough quality sleep you will see a reduction in your

  • Physical performance

  • Mental and cognitive performance

  • Recovery time from injury

Just think about that for a sec the next time you can’t focus in big game or when your body feels sore all the time.  

Which leads into the next one...

Get things done on time

Focus on getting your homework, projects, and studying done so you have more time to train, get adequate sleep, and create some free time to spend with your friends.

Pulling all nighters is hurting your recovery and development as an athlete. And let's be honest, how much information are you retaining for a test when you are cramming at 2am the night before?

Here are some helpful tips to try:

Eliminate distractions - put your phone on do not disturb. Use the 45/15 rule. Silence your distractions during 45 minutes of productivity and then have 15 minutes of mindless breaktime to scroll through insta.

I know it sounds scary to remove yourself from the social world for a whole 45 minutes, but I promise your IG posts will continue to get likes and your snap streaks won’t disappear. Give it a try...I dare you.

Make a smart to-do list -  include only the items that you’re avoiding, not the ones you know you’ll do anyway. Then set deadlines.

Make steady progress, every day

Set a goal to make yourself 1% better every day.

It can take a long period of time to improve a certain skill or increase your vertical, instead of sitting back and feeling like you are watching paint dry, set mini goals to keep yourself on track. These small daily or weekly goals will give you something to celebrate more often and keep you on the road to reaching that big goal that seems so far out of reach.

Be a better teammate and person

Student-athletes are more than just students, and more than just athletes. You are a leader: on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.

College coaches are looking beyond your physical ability and trying to figure out who are you as a person. They want to know what it will be like to have you as a member of their roster, how you will interact with the other players, and the coaches.

Some things to think about:

  • How can you develop your sportsmanship, every practice and every match?

  • How can you be more of an ideal student-athlete on your social profiles?

  • How do your extracurricular activities show that you care about giving back to your community?

Now that you have some ideas, grab a notebook and really think about your goals and what you would like to improve and accomplish this year!

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Once you have your resolutions mapped out, here are some tips to help you stay on track:

Start small

Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.

Change one behavior at a time

Unhealthy behaviors develop over time. So, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to change everything in your life all at once. Instead, work toward improving one thing at a time.

Talk about it

Share your goals with a teammate or friend. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey towards your goals that much easier and less intimidating.

Don’t beat yourself up

Perfection is an unattainable goal.  It isn’t going to be perfect.  Remember that minor setbacks will happen and are completely normal and OK. Everyone has ups and downs, decide to recover from your missteps and get back on track.

Best of luck on reaching your goals and HAPPY 2018!!!

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