Time management needs to be a prime focus for any student athlete, especially if you want to succeed at a high-level. Your education and studies need to be a priority since successful training is 80% mental and only 20% physical.
I have read articles that state time management “systems” often fail because individuals focus on perfection and set unrealistic expectations. Time management is actually very easy however it requires discipline and sacrifices. There are 7 key steps to successful time management.
Managing all your deadlines.
Know you deadlines for both school work, exams, training and tournaments, create a simple schedule and maintain it.
Sometimes you will need to make hard decisions however keep your eye on the prize. If you want something special you will need to make sacrifices.
Dad always says “Anything worth doing is hard” and “if it was easy everybody would do it”
Setting and achieving goals
It is very easy to achieve small goals and if enough small goals are strung together they make up large goals. It is easy to recuperate from a small setback however often creating large goals are daunting and large setbacks can be fatal.
Remember to periodically review your successes and setbacks. Successes help you feel like you are accomplishing things and we learn the most from setbacks. Setbacks are your greatest opportunities, so learn from them.
First, create an easily accessible schedule, create a Google or Outlook calendar or keep a day timer, add all your deadlines in, add your training schedule and it is very important to schedule some downtime in. Second, keep it up to date and lastly stick to it.
Do not procrastinate! Get it done so you do not have it hanging over your head and you will actually have better quality personal time.
Remember your priorities and goals, sometimes sacrifices need to be made – can not always play when I need to practice or study.
The most effective means to prevent burn-out is to not lie to yourself. Set yourself up for success and communicate effectively with those their to support you, such as your coach and parents. Stick to the training schedule that your coach has laid out for you. It is designed to make you successful long term and diviation (too much or too little) can have very negative effects.
Also do not be afraid to talk to your coach and parents if you believe it is too hard or too easy.
One thing I have learned is that things are always changing for archers so don’t get too comfortable. What works for someone might not works for others and what works now may not work in 6 months so be prepared to experiment and make changes when they are needed. Keep track of any changes, even minor, and be prepared to adopt something new or return to the original.
Most important to your success and especially for young athlete is the support that you receive from those around you. Supportive and caring parents, help and knowledgeable coaches and understanding friends are all people that can help you whenever you need it.
The benefits from time management includ reduced frustration, extra personal time and a huge sense of achievement.