5 Tips for Balancing Life & Sport
Hello everyone! I’m CoachBriley with Complete Performance Coaching. Today, I want to discuss five tips for balancing life and sport/activity at any age. This is something that I personally had to learn a lot about as an elite gymnast and student. There are so many demands nowadays that are asked of us as athletes, students, and human beings. This notion makes it really tough to find the balance between everything we have to do to live productive, healthy, and happy lives.
After reflecting on some of the things that helped bring me balance and peace of mind as a student-athlete, I realized there were a few specific things that I did to keep me grounded and focused on accomplishing my goals.
5 Main Takeaways
Below are the main takeaways from what I learned to do as a student-athlete that allowed me to maintain my joy while simultaneously work hard and achieve success in my sport.
1. Write everything down
Whether you like to handwrite things down on paper or digitally, keep track of important tasks and schedules by writing it down. The more organized and compartmentalized you can keep your lists and schedules to where they are in the same place for easy access and maintain visibility, you’re already on track to a more balanced routine.
2. Plan ahead, don’t get behind
The people that I look up to don’t allow themselves to get behind on assignments, projects, or tasks. They’re always thinking and planning ahead. Asking “what’s next” promotes drive and forces them to follow the path that they create themselves. In other words, for successful balancing of life and sport, getting behind isn’t an option or a luxury you can afford. Remaining organized is the key to making this tip work for you. To my fellow Girl Scouts, the motto “be prepared” can be another example of a mantra that supplements this tip.
3. Avoid procrastination and do the tedious things you want to avoid right now
Don’t wait! One of the best pieces of advice I ever learned in my youth was from my high school science teacher. He always said, “If you see something that needs to be done or could be done, do it right away”. A perfect example of this could be taking out the pile of trash that’s sitting in your line of sight or starting that load of laundry you have been dreading and letting accumulate for weeks.
Mr. Linsley, if you’re reading this, I owe you a lifetime of thank yous for teaching me the value of doing things that need to be done once they are immediately recognized. I learned that once I see and do those things that I usually avoid, the habit of doing them frequently removes the weight of the task from building up. Dread is removed and my energy, focus, and attention can be put towards more pressing things.
4. Don’t get your identity too wrapped up in your sport
Remember your strengths and gifts that may translate across facets of your life. One thing that saved me from having a more difficult time when it came to retiring from gymnastics was knowing my value and worth as more than just a gymnast, athlete, or student. I knew that there was always more to life than just gymnastics or school. That mindset can be interpreted as unfocused or not fully invested. My experience, however, taught me that success and balance between life and sports aren’t mutually exclusive of each other.
Remembering my worth outside of my sport was one of the saving graces that I don’t regret focusing on. If you can be grateful for the talents, gifts, and strengths you have now as a human being, sibling, friend, parent, mentor, or whatever other roles you see yourself fulfilling, the more balance you will find in maintaining your inner peace and achieving success in your sport.
5. Surround yourself with a diverse group of people
I am so grateful for the people I chose to surround myself with during my time as a student-athlete. They kept me grounded, balanced, and positive. These friends weren’t always the best athletes, but they were leaders with their own gifts and talents that I lacked. The fact that I spent time with others who didn’t necessarily share the same lifestyle as I did taught me about other things like school, positive relationships, life skills, and how to have fun when others with a similar lifestyle didn’t necessarily teach me those things.
I am so glad that my group of people I spent time with stretched me outside of my comfort zone. Because of them, I experienced things I likely would not have had otherwise.
Which Tip Will You Try?
Of all of these tips, which one resonates strongest with you and your mindset right now? This week, start with implementing just one of these balancing tips and see what happens. Rather than trying to take on all of these ideas at once, perhaps try one new method per week and see what sticks. I have a whole part two coming to supplement this post, so be on the lookout for even more tips for balancing a positive athletic career and life.
Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any feedback or questions about this post. I’d love to talk to you and hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading and happy training!