How to Stay Focused on the Road for Softball
Playing softball, whether you’re on a high school team or a travelling team, will require you to play some games on the road. And travelling requires one thing: Time. If you are on the road for a weekend tourney, you’ll be taking time away from other commitments, like schoolwork. This guide will offer some tips on how to stay focused on school and softball while you’re on the road. After all, you are a student-athlete.
As a student-athlete, you need to know that schoolwork should always come first. If you are playing on a summer ball team, you’re off the hook here. But if you are playing during the school year or during summer school, you have to know how to be a student-athlete. You have to give your studies appropriate time in order to excel in the classroom. Softball is an extracurricular activity — you’re a student first. So during season, you have to be a little more responsible and stay on top of your schoolwork without having to sacrifice softball.
Basically, you’ll need to know how to manage your time. If you have projects or papers due, make sure you do the majority of them before you hit the road. You have to be realistic. The player who procrastinates and tells herself that her work can wait until after the tournament, is kidding herself. Softball takes a toll on your body. An after-school game will be over around six in the evening, if not later, and that doesn’t include travel time. By the time you get back to the comforts of your own home, it will be late, and hunger and fatigue will likely have taken over your body. Homework will be the last thing you’ll want to do.
So to rid yourself of this problem, simply get it done earlier! Even if it means giving up an extra hour of hanging out with friends to study, it will be worth it.
Come Game Time
If you have an early game, don’t stress yourself by waking up at the crack of dawn and trying to get an hour of studying before breakfast. Instead, relax, enjoy a meal with your team, and get mentally ready to play. If you have an afternoon game, decide whether you need to do some work beforehand. If so, try doing it during breakfast so you can relax before your game. If you have a night game, you should definitely get a few hours of work in. You’ll have the whole day, so don’t waste it!
If you have big breaks between games, you can rest in some shade and get a little work done. If you only have one game break, though, stay focused on softball. Let your body rest and give your brain a break. Seven innings will take a lot out of you, so if you don’t have a ton of time to regroup and get ready, don’t pull out your books just yet. Kick off your cleats and relax. Take a few hacks off the tee and get ready to win the next game.
After the Game
Depending on how long your tournament is, or if you are there for only one game, what you do after the game is up to you. If you are at a weekend-long tourney and your last game ends before the sun sets on Saturday, you should definitely be able to get some work in before night falls. If it’s Sunday, though, take a break on your drive home. Rest so you can hit the books when you get home. After all, most of your work should have been done beforehand, right?
Hot Tip: Invoke a Study Hall
If you are the coach of a travelling team, invoke study halls when you have long breaks or long tournaments. This will allow every player the chance to focus on her schoolwork without feeling like she is missing out on something fun her teammates may be doing. Because really, what’s the fun in studying when your teammates are out splashing by the pool? Grab some snacks and drinks, and give them a comfortable place to work. This is an easy way to instill discipline into your entire squad and raise your team’s GPA.
While You’re Driving
If you are on a team bus or in your parent’s car, the time it takes to get to and from games can be up to eight hours, or even more! This is your free time to study. If you can read a few chapters or work on a paper, definitely take advantage of your idle time. But if you get carsick, you’re fresh out of luck. You won’t be able to do anything, so take the previous tips to heart and get work done early!
On the Road Again
Keeping this guide in mind, you’ll be able to figure out the best strategy to use to stay on top of your schoolwork. Whatever you do, don’t slack off and leave anything for “later.” If you stay on top of your work, you’ll never stress over school. You can focus all of your attention on the game and be a stellar player. Remember, you’re a student first, so take care of the classroom and then dominate on the field!