Originally published in VolleyballUSA, summer 2018
Editor's Note: Author Kendall Kipp was a member of the 2017 Girls Youth National Team and is headed to Stanford next fall.
The end of the fall semester is here, and the spring semester of high school will be just as busy. With 5-8 hours of classes Monday-Friday, a few hours of homework each night, and studying for tests each week, it seems that school takes up most of your time. With volleyball, that schedule becomes even crazier. Sometimes, it can seem impossible to stay on top of it all.
Here are a few useful tips to keep you winning not only on the court but also in the classroom.
1. Be comfortable talking to your teachers
The idea of talking to your teachers and asking them for help can be daunting. But throughout my school experiences I have found that being able to talk to my teachers greatly impacts my success in the classroom. Once I began feeling comfortable talking to them, I could ask questions before, during or after class when I didn’t understand something.
Furthermore, I could communicate with them more effectively about when I would have to miss class and how to make up the missed material. Teachers are there to educate you, and they want to see their students succeed. When you give them the opportunity and seek guidance, they will be there to help you.
Related: Balancing School and Volleyball
2. Do your homework thoroughly
After a busy day in the life of a student-athlete, sometimes all you want to do is just come home, eat dinner and go to sleep. Then you remember – you have homework!
While it may be tempting to rush through your work and get it done quickly, it will do you more good in the long run if you strive to do your homework for comprehension, not just completion. Teachers assign homework for a good reason; it’s the best way to practice what is being taught in class and to test your own knowledge. Spending more time on your homework ends up saving time in the long run.
When done thoroughly, homework can be a study tool along the way. When it comes time for the test, you will already be prepared. Instead of having to teach yourself the material, you will be able to just do a quick review.
3.Study ahead of time
Sometimes it can be extremely difﬁcult to motivate yourself to study or do an assignment when you know that you’re not in a time crunch. And when there’s something else you’d rather be doing, it may seem like a good idea to just put off the work until the end.
The best students start preparing for tests a few days or even weeks before.
Studying ahead of time not only ensures you have enough time to learn the material, it also gives you the opportunity to seek extra help from a teach-er or friend if there are things you don’t understand.
Life is all about choices and, as student-athletes, we learn that at an early age. We learn that you can’t always do everything. With such busy schedules, student-athletes will always have conﬂicting events and must choose what is the most important. While it might be hard to choose school over other social events, successful students understand that school comes ﬁrst and must be a priority.
5. Set goals
When you talk about goal-setting, a lot of people would think you are talking about sports. But goals are just as important in the classroom as they are on the court. Set goals for yourself in the beginning of the school year so you know what you are working for. Whether that is for the grades you want to achieve, a new habit you would like to learn, or the information you want to learn, goals are vital to a successful school year.