Some of you may be familiar with a podcast that I started called Keep it Running, with my friend Laura Dickinson.
To provide some background, Laura was my roommate when we competed for Team Canada in Naples, Italy at the 2019 World University Games. The trip was incredible and I can easily say that the best part was connecting with other like-minded student-athletes. After sharing many stories with one another, one thing we found in common was having to learn some lessons about being a student-athlete the hard way [through experience]. While I believe that learning through experience can be the most impactful; I also believe that no one should have to do it alone and there are some areas that student-athletes could be better equipped mentally to handle the challenges that they will face throughout their university career.
Laura felt the same way and she reached out to me about starting a podcast back in March of 2020. I was completely on board and we started recording episodes by the start of June.
I will link our podcast below and in this post I’m providing my 5 best tips for student-athletes, that have also been regularly mentioned by other student-athletes that we have interviewed, along with a gallery of images from my four years as a University of Saskatchewan Huskies athlete.
#1 Your life will never be perfectly balanced, but small steps towards stability will make a big difference.
Acting like you have everything figure out all of the time will not help if you find your life becoming stressful. What will help is recognizing that small steps make a difference, and will lead to having more control and stability over your time management.
#2 Society will pressure you to say that you’re a student first. For many this isn’t the case. Follow YOUR passion and figure out the ways that YOU learn best.
While it’s important to make a significant investment in your academic pursuits, it is also just as valuable to know yourself and know what works for you. I’ll admittedly say that running is the first thing that I wake up thinking about and the main consideration as to how my day will be structured. That’s not to say that I slack off in school – rather the contrary. Running propels my academic pursuits, which reinforces the time and effort that I invest towards pursuing this passion.
#3 Set a vision for yourself
Goals may change but your vision should remain stable. What my vision comes down to is a desire to find the limits of my athletic and academic abilities. My goals help me remain on this trajectory towards self-improvement and discovery.
#4 Never fear change, embrace it.
From rookie year to senior year, many things are going to change. I learned in my first year the importance of establishing a routine and relentlessly pursuing my passion. In my fourth year, I learned the importance in straying from the routine and being more flexible, while still relentlessly pursuing my passion. The ability to adapt and assess what is working and what isn’t is one of the most valuable tools that you can possess as a student-athlete.
#5 Make connections and surround yourself with people that truly support you.
The people that you surround yourself with should reflect and compliment your vision. They are the one’s that will equally support you in times of failure and triumph. It’s impossible to grow if you’re constantly surrounded by negativity and doubt. Welcome positive friends only.