How-To Balance Sports and Homework
Heading into the fall sports season, remind your child that teachers won’t excuse missed deadlines due to practice schedule, weekly games and weekend tournaments. Successful student-athletes know to plan school tasks, stay aware of project deadlines and leave it all on the field at the end of practice.
Put it In Writing
Give your athlete the responsibility of posting a large calendar in the home. Have them enter each practice, game and related sports activity, and then as school projects are assigned, add those due dates to the calendar. Review critical items daily or weekly, until your child has full ownership of the tasks and reports to you without being asked for an update.
Harness Homework Time
Help your athlete plan to complete school work even when they have late-night and away games. Discuss options and aids like noise-reducing headphones, how to organize backpacks and duffel bags for class and game day, completing homework before or after practices, or while on the team bus to an away game.
Use Weekends Wisely
Schedule 45 minutes each weekend (preferably not Sunday night), to review homework, upcoming projects, and other deadlines.
How Many Sports?
If you find that things are so jam-packed that you can’t schedule planning time, you may want to discuss reducing the number of sports or weekend activities, to allow a priority focus on school work.
Ask the Teacher to Join the Team
Coach your student to be proactive and request homework from teachers ahead of time before a travel tournament. Many teachers might not help, but you'd be surprised at the number who will. A good teacher will help you help your athlete become organized at school. The teacher might even accept work on a project as it is completed, rather than all at the end. It doesn't hurt to ask.