How to thrive not just survive as a college athlete

It can be really tough managing  life as a Junior College athlete. Juggling homework,  games, team events, work, and a social life can be overwhelming. Something I wish I would have known was how to properly prioritize my time!



The first and most important piece comes down to one simple thing: sleep. And I mean a lot of sleep.  The more, the better. I know it seems you  may  be wasting time by sleeping more hours,  but the truth is you are going to become much more focused and efficient, if you can put a little more effort towards your sleep. This does not mean you should be sleeping in until noon every day. 


In fact quite the opposite. I have found one of the best ways to  start sleeping more and getting better quality sleep is by not sleeping in! A good way to sort this out is by choosing a time you will wake  up, and  sticking to it, even on weekends. I suggest sleeping in between 7-8:30 am. Anything past that and you will have a hard time falling asleep at night. Naturally, you will start to fall into a rhythm.   Don’t stay up looking at your phone!  Turn your lights off and go to sleep early, somewhere between  9:00 and  9:30. 

Sleep is key

It wasn’t until my last year in junior college that I  started to take my sleep seriously.  I  believe I would have avoided a lot more stress and injuries if I had focused on my sleep all the way through. As I have become even busier   working a full time job, growing my business, training in jiu jitsu, coaching, and pursuing a masters degree, and enjoying an active social life,  I sleep almost ten hours  a night. I have also found that many entrepreneurs and success gurus function similarly.  Scientists such as Andrew Hubermna, and Dr. Amy Shah have proven that sleep is crucial for our recovery and functionality. This is why I strongly suggest that, first and foremost, you adopt healthy sleep habits.


Read this carefully if you are working while going to school full-time: The money you are making now is not even close to the amount  of money you will be making later. Now is the time to be broke and not spend foolishly! 


Spend as much time as possible focusing on school and your athletics. you will earn more in the future by:  


a)  getting a degree that lands you a good job, or 

b) getting a bigger scholarship that’s  worth tens of thousands of dollars, all because you spent more time focusing on your game than making minimum wage plus tips at a restaurant (not to mention the degree that you will get from that scholarship or that pro–contract you might sign).

The list of priorities is as follows:

Let’s talk about academics. I understand what it’s like to be a “total jock” who didn’t care at all about school. Yet, here I am, advising academics should be  at the top of the list. Academics are  one of the greater sources of stress for college athletes. I have experienced it, feeling at times like a cloud hovering over me that will never go away.  Do everything in your power to make the academic demands  less stressful. 

What does this look like?

Getting organized, staying on top of homework, using your resources, booking out tutors, and NOT procrastinating. That way when you get to the field you will know you have  taken care of what you need to, and can focus on being a better athlete. The last thing you need is to be on the field stressing about a math exam you have next week. Instead, do your best to stay ahead  and use your resources to find success in the classroom. Remember: one of the first questions a four-year school is going to ask you is about your GPA. 


Prioritizing our sport means that everything below soccer (or whatever sport you play) comes after, including social activities. For example, it’s tempting to want to go out and party and drink after a game on a Friday night, but that can cut into your focus during the game.  Which means you are not fully present while on the field.  Partying further  harms your recovery. 


If you really need some fun, schedule it for the following morning, get a group together and go to brunch. I understand having a social life is important and I understand wanting to have fun. I’m not going to say ]you shouldn’t party at all during the season because you already know that. What I will say is try to be smart about the way you do it  Like my brother says, “be smart when you are going to be dumb.” 

What that means…

If you can , start your night earlier so you can leave earlier and not cut into sleep. If you are going to drink, maybe don’t drink as much and be prepared with electrolytes.  DO NOT  post anything that could get you in trouble. Not even on a private account. You never know when you can upset the wrong person! If you choose to avoid the partying , drinking, and smoking crowd all together then great. 

Remember how important sleep is and staying up late and scrolling or watching Netflix  throws off our sleeping patterns. This then becomes a hazard to your whole schedule and this translates into not prioritizing correctly.

If I would have been able to see sooner how often I wasn’t prioritizing soccer, I could have progressed faster. Sometimes I would take extra babysitting jobs because I really felt I could use that money, however if I would have just spent less, I wouldn’t have had to work as much, and in turn could have been more rested for training. 

Again, if something is cutting into your rest, it  is taking away from soccer and un-aligning your priorities. Babysitting until 11:00 pm on a week night was not worth the$ 90 I made  in the long run. The truth is many  of us spend when we really don’t need to.  Sweat Ethic says that  “an individual could save $2,600 per year by meal prepping versus buying lunch every day”.  That’s  $54 a week!

Self Promotion


I can’t say this enough “BE YOUR BEST PROMOTER”. You need to carve out time to email coaches, post on Instagram and put yourself out there. If you want to get results you  must stay consistent.  Try setting actual time aside each week. Just pick two days that you spend 20 minutes focused on promoting yourself. One option is doing this  during study  hall. If you are not looking to play on, use  this time to promote yourself in another way: maybe you are an influencer, have an online store,  maybe you get on linkedin and start searching for professional connections. In any case,  self-promotion is necessary to achieve success no matter what your goals are.

To recap:

Prioritize your sleep which will have compounding  effects in many areas of your life, take care of your academics, be present in training and games (before and after), manage your social life (if you’re going to) and finally sell yourself. 

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DISCLAIMER: We are offering personalized coaching for the extremely determined only! With that being said, do you have the courage to become the best that you can be?

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