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Does anyone have advice for college athletes majoring in STEM subjects when labs and athletic practices may conflict?

I will be playing a sport for my school and, while my coach is very much academically focused and will support any afternoon labs I have, I know there will be some conflicts between those labs and our athletic practices. I am curious if anyone has any creative ideas for making sure that I can give my best to both my studies as well as my team. #college-major #sports #collegiate-athlete

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Lisa’s Answer

It is pretty simple. Keep your eye on the ball. School comes first. Let your coach know now about the conflicts and let him/her know how many days per week you CAN make practice. When school gets demanding, you may have to take time off. If this is unacceptable, replace this with a club sport which will be less demanding. If you can show up for a short time after your labs, you can offer that to your coach as well.

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Raven’s Answer

Balancing sports and academics as a student-athlete can be tough, but the main keys to doing so successfully are communication and time management.
COMMUNICATION - Your coach must communicate with your team about what time your practices and workouts will be held before each new semester. Then, you can schedule your classes outside of that time slot and you will likely rarely miss class or practice. But as your said, eventually (especially with STEM majors) some of your classes and labs will conflict with practice times. This should only happen when it is absolutely necessary. And when this does happen, academics must always come first. This is because almost all schools require student-athletes to maintain a certain grade point average to remain eligible to compete in their sport. So when these practice/class conflicts occur, you must first communicate this with your coach as soon as you schedule that class so that they are aware you will be missing practice occasionally in order to attend the class. However, when you have games/competitions, you will have to miss that class for the game. You should communicate this with your professor and will receive an excused absent from your coach for games/competitions. So whether you have to miss practice or class, the first step is to communicate.
TIME MANAGEMENT - You must make sure that you are carving out enough time in your day to manage both your academics and your athletics. As previously stated, academics must come first, so make sure you use some of your free time outside of class, practices, and competitions to study and complete any assigned coursework. Use any other free time you may have to work on your personal skills for your sport. This can be on your own, with a teammate, or with a coach. As a student-athlete, it is important to dedicate some of your time outside of practice to improving your skills so that you become a better athlete as your college career progresses, because your coaches and teammates are relying on you to contribute toward winning and making the team better.
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