USA Volleyball Features 5 Tips To Balance Vo...

5 Tips To Balance Volleyball And School This Season

By Kelli LeGrande | Sept. 11, 2015, 2 p.m. (ET)

It's that time of year again! Season has started and school is about to start kicking into high gear. It's an exciting part of the year, if not the most exciting, but with all the excitement also comes the stress of balancing everything that needs to get done in 24 hours. From practice to games, classes to homework, we all could use a few helpful tips to stay on top of school and volleyball this season! Christa Dietzen, Women's National Team Middle Blocker, sat down with us and shed some light into her top five ways of staying on top of things. Christa graduated from Penn State with a degree in Elementary Education after student teaching abroad at Yapton Elementary School in southern England her senior year. 

 (Photo courtesy of Christa Dietzen's Instagram)

1. Make time for sleep.
"Shirking on sleep can negatively impact your play and your studies. Even though we all think we can run on three hours of sleep after pulling an all-nighter, that's simply not the case." Sleeping recharges your body and mind, and it is essential for keeping up with the busy athlete schedule.

2. Stay in the moment.
"Once the volleyball game begins, your full attention should be on what's happening in the practice or match, not about your five-page paper you have due the next day." Focus is very important because you want to be able to perform your best on the task at hand. When in the moment, you can't let your mind wander about things that you still need to do, or things you should have been studying for the test you're currently taking. Being able to time manage and keep on task will well help you stay focused on the right things at the right times. 

3. Take a break. 
"It's easy to get stressed with everything you have going on, but volleyball is meant to be fun, not stressful." Sometimes the outdoors and a good book are calling your name. When you've finally finished a big project or just got done with a long tournament, your body and mind need a break. Whether you like reading the latest best seller, catching up on Netflix or sitting on the couch and not moving for 12 hours, do something to let yourself recover. 

(Photo courtesy of Christa Dietzen's Instagram)

4. Don't settle for just being good. 
"Whatever level you're at in volleyball or school, one thing is always certain: the next level is going to be more challenging. When you understand that, you also understand you're not really competing against other people as much as you are competing with yourself." 

5. Use alerts. 
"Set alerts on your phone for every meeting, practice, class, weights, traveling and matches. It will help you make sure you're on the right task and don't forget about anything." When you have 14 things going on in one day, it is easy to forget at exactly what times you need to be where or that you have something to do at all. With alerts, you can set them an hour before the task, that way you have time to get ready and don't miss an obligation. 

This article was first published in SPIKE. SPIKE is available at iTunes App Store, but first you need to download the VolleyballUSA digital app – it’s free – then you can get SPIKE.