If you haven’t heard, Florida Tech has started practices for its new football team. Many ASC 1000 instructors have already met the players and we know that they bring many of their strategies from the field into the classroom. In fact, most student athletes at Florida Tech – in baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, track and field, tennis, and volleyball – have a wealth of skillsets that help them to excel at their sport as well as in their major. Here are five common practices that work both on and off the field.
1) Work every day. Most athletes do some form of exercise or conditioning every day. Similarly, you should take time every day to work on academics. It doesn’t always have to be three or four hours for each subject; instead, take ten minutes to review notes after each class and organize ideas. It keeps the information fresh in your mind.
2) Get the right equipment. You wouldn’t use a watermelon for a forward pass or a mixing bowl instead of a helmet; why would you use the wrong books or materials to take notes in class? Have all of the materials on hand in lecture, including pencils, highlighters, and extra paper. If you use a laptop or a tablet, keep your software updated so it’s ready for you to use.
3) Take care of your body. Good nutrition and adequate sleep keep your mind and body healthy and alert so that you can pay attention in class. No athlete can expect to do well with a poor diet and three hours of sleep before a championship game; why would you expect a high grade on an exam if you stay up all night and eat nothing but Pop-Tarts and Easy-Mac? Make time for sleep and eat a balanced diet.
4) Put in a solid workout several times a week. Many athletes make time for weights or extended cardio training three or four times a week. Similarly, schedule blocks of time three or four days a week when you can dedicate yourself to homework problems and reorganizing notes. This strengthens your knowledge in the subject areas and makes preparing for exams much easier.
5) Kindle your passion. Most athletes don’t just go through the motions, but they stay educated about the techniques and progress in their sport. Similarly, learn about your major, the current research, the big-name players, and the places that hire in your field. Be able to discuss why you’re studying what you study, and how you want to use that once you graduate.
You don’t have to be a varsity athlete to practice these skills; athletes just get a little more practice with them under the guidance of their coaches and trainers. Academic advisers, ASC staff, and Florida Tech faculty can provide that same guidance as you engage these strategies toward your goals of graduation and academic success.