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How a Student can Balance Academics and Sports


An important question in today’s fast-paced world, is – “is it better to stick to only academics or try and balance both academics and sports? Isn’t the second option more stressful?” But it is not recommended that children focus on academics to the exclusion of sports. One of the most practical ways for children to learn about themselves is through sports education. Sport brings out the character of a child in a manner that an in-classroom activity may not. Additionally, research indicates that children who participate in sports, whether at school or in their community, perform better academically than children who do not.

So what is the solution? Here are some tips that will help your child manage both efficiently.

  • Pick a school or sports academy within your neighborhood

During my childhood days, most friends I knew lived close to school and went to nearby sports clubs for recreational sport.  Not anymore. Now primary school children go across town to their schools and sometimes even further for sports practice, all the while battling traffic. This can put enormous pressure on a child’s time and energy and eventually can lead to a burn-out. If the chosen school is far way, then pick an after-school sports program within the campus to prevent transportation issues. Once the child demonstrates sustainable interest and ability, a weekend session at a reputed sports academy, even some distance away, can be worked out.

  • Select a certified sports academy either in-school or out-of-campus

Most Indian parents leave no stone unturned even when they a select a pre-school for their child. Unfortunately, when they enroll their child to a sports camp they do not check the credentials of the academy.  A child training under a certified sports coach will most likely continue playing sport long-term, since knowledge imparted in a structured environment will fulfill the child’s actual potential, which will help sustain interest. Also, a certified coach can help you with valuable resources to manage studies and sports in a seamless manner.

  • Manage your time well

Let your child use a diary for both school and their sports timetable.  Write down all due dates in advance so no deadlines actually slip.  Understanding the value of time is probably the biggest tool for a student athlete. School time, game time and travel time to and from school if learnt from a younger age, will help them understand schedules and manage themselves independently.

  • Interact with the sports coordinator at school during PTA

Although it is considered hard to obtain permission from the school to attend sport events, modern educational institutions value the importance of overall development of the student. If either morning or evening sports practice time is creating a time crunch, its best to put forth the child’s situation during PTA meetings either to the class teacher or higher authorities. Highlight how the school benefits from their student athletes representing the institution at competitive events across the city.

Demands on our time may never end, but if we could use these tips early in the student athlete’s career it will go a long way in enjoying the journey on both counts!

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Vijay Krishnamurthy is the Founder and Head Coach of Groundstrokes Tennis Academy in Bangalore. He is also a Consultant with TENVIC - Anil Kumble Sports Education Private Limited. A sports enthusiast from his childhood days, Vijay has represented Bangalore University in table tennis and then went on to play in the USTA Northern California tennis league between 2000 to 2005. A USPTA Certified Tennis Coach, he has over 10 years of coaching experience, and specialises in coaching children between the ages of 6 and 16.


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