Time management, prioritizing key for multi-sport athletes

Jimmy Fisher, Reporter

Most college sports involve training all year round and athletes like senior Jeff Slanovec can manage their time and balance two sports with academics.

Slanovec plays basketball and baseball and has throughout his collegiate career. He admits it’s not an easy home run.

“It’s pretty difficult,” Slanovec said. “You have be able to have really good time management skills and you have to be able to prioritize and look ahead to see when you’re going to be on the road [for games].”

In high school Slanovec said he played golf, basketball and baseball, but he said maintaining the balance was a bit easier. Many college teams require year round conditioning and practice, which makes being a multi sport athlete a lot tougher. Basketball and baseball seasons run back-to-back, and baseball requires year-round practice. Slanovec admitted that it’s a challenge to prepare for baseball once his basketball season is over.

“It makes it more difficult for baseball,” said Slanovec. “I have to do a lot of preparing for the [baseball] season on my own outside of basketball, hitting and throwing on my own as well as have time for my classes.”

Stress comes being a college student. Studying, classes, and homework pile on top of the commitment the student athletes make. Slanovec, though, has never had a problem with his grades.

“I told myself before I came here, was that as long as my grades weren’t going to slip, I’m going to do both sports,” Slanovec said. “I’ve been able to do both without any negative impact on my grades.”

Slanovec’s family and closest friends make time to see him perform for two sports as well. “Because I play both sports I can see them more,” said Slanovec. “My relationship with my family has pretty much stayed the same or gotten better because of the games they’ve seen.”

While Slanovec has been a multi sport athlete his entire collegiate life, junior Caitlin Sweeney is just beginning her run. Sweeney has been a member of the women’s basketball team since her first year, and she joined the women’s soccer team as a junior. Sweeney admitted that she does not find balancing two sports to be difficult. Sweeney said her coaches help her get by.

“Having a coach to push you to strive for good grades really makes you want to study because if you risk getting bad grades, you might eventually get kicked off the team,” Sweeney said. “Our coach sets up study halls that we can attend to help us get better grades.”

Time management is sometimes hard enough to college students who do not play any sports. With only 24 hours in a day, Sweeney says she knows exactly how to manage those hours to keep her grades up, stay and shape, and eat the right food.

“When it comes to sleeping I get about eight hours a night,” Sweeney said. “I think from going to class and working out during the day make me more tired so I am able to fall asleep earlier instead of being up all hours of the night. I try to eat healthy and stick to salads and fruits so I can stay in shape.”

With soccer having a regular fall season and a spring season, Sweeney said that the sport presents more challenges than her basketball schedule does.

 

“Soccer is more difficult to prepare for because we basically are playing year round since we have the regular season in the fall, and we also have a spring season,” Sweeney said. “While I’m in basketball season they are doing winter workouts as a team, so I try to do both basketball practice and soccer workouts on days when I don’t have a basket ball game.”

Like Slanovec, Sweeney has home support.

“It’s not difficult for my family and friends to come to my games,” said Sweeney. “They enjoy coming out and supporting me and my teammates.”