Trying to balance between sports and life as a young athlete can be challenging. It won’t get easier when you become more professional or older because life will always throw obstacles on your way.
The key to having a balanced lifestyle is to surround yourself with supportive people and before making any kind of plan, think about the bigger picture. Think about who you want to become and work for it.
See how to manage different parts of life when doing sports at the highest level
School and sports
Finding the right balance between school and sports can be quite difficult at times. The most important thing is to make a schedule for yourself, that way you won’t have school work build up and you won’t have to miss any practices.
As a young athlete school should be your main priority just in case your athletic career doesn’t work out.
An important step to a well-balanced lifestyle between school and sports is to decide what kind of student you want to be or what are your future plans.
If you truly believe you will become a top-level athlete, then make a plan that will allow you to train more. Setting smart goals can help you to reach your goals!
If you’re not sure about your future, it’s wise to do both at a high level. This will require a lot of effort and maybe stressful periods but eventually, you will have a backup plan right up your sleeve.
Work and sports
As to some athletes they are fortunate enough to call their athletic career also their full-time job, but this only can be possible if you reach the highest level.
For some athletes, it’s a necessity to have a “regular” job as well to get the ends meet. It’s very common for athletes to have a job as a coach, they will take on a children’s group and make a living and still being around sports.
Like with everything else, in order to find the balance there are things that you might have to let go. There is a huge difference in what kind of level you are/play.
For example, let’s take volleyball players. Not all volleyball players have a second job when they are playing professionally. But if they do they usually do their morning workout individually and join the team for volleyball practice after work.
Also, the job you work at has a huge role in how healthy this lifestyle will be. If you have a boss that is very understanding and is willing to allow you to different tournament or even practices then finding a balance isn’t very hard.
Overall in order to make this work, it’s good to have a conversation with your coach and your boss separately before the season, then you’ll know how or when you need to make some compromises.
Family and sports
Finding the balance between sports and your family can be quite tricky. In order for this to work, it needs a lot of understanding and compromise.
Growing up as a daughter of an athlete, it definitely had its ups and downs. The biggest downsides were all these training camps abroad and different competitions all around the world.
But all these trips made us cherish more the times when my dad was at home and we’d actually do something fun as a family.
Why did I say that understanding is crucial for this work. A lot of athletes have said it before that when you want your family and career to be well balanced you need to have family that supports you.
As an athlete’s partner, it’s important to understand that sometimes you have to do long-distance or you won’t have your partner with you every weekend.
For example, being a volleyball player and playing in another country it’s important that both of you will understand that this situation is hard for everyone involved. That’s why it’s so important to show your love and support through words and keep in mind that this situation is temporary.
This is the hardest part of well-balanced life because here you’re making the most sacrifices and you have the most to lose. There’s no lie, this is hard at first but once you’ve created some sort of a system, it should be all good.
Professional athlete’s side activities
This is actually different for everyone. The important thing is once again to listen to your body and act based on a need. I suggest you do something different from your everyday activities
Some activities can be
- Reading a book
- Learning a new skill
- Having a different hobby
- Studying online
- Starting a blog
Overall combining your sports career with your private life can be quite tricky and it’ll take a lot of compromises and understanding to make it work.
Reality is, that most professional athletes solely focus on their career and the idea of doing something else at one point isn’t something that goes through their minds, but there are always exceptions.
Some athletes work and train at a high level at the same time, some even get a degree in university while training. At the end of the day, it’s up to you how healthy your balance will be between your career and private life.