Parent Series: Balancing the Pressures of School and Skating

Written By: Riedell | August 29, 2013

There are many great rewards to being involved in figure skating or another sport. Young athletes learn responsibility, team work, how to achieve goals, time-management and much more. However, balancing sports, schoolwork and other activities can often be one of your child’s greatest challenges. But it can be done—with the right game plan. Here are 6 ways parents can help their children balance school and skating:

  1. Set priorities. Make sure your child understands that schoolwork and family obligations must come before skating or another sport. Set certain priorities that must be maintained. Understand that sports—although third to school and family—will take up a great amount of time and energy.
  2. Create a plan. Help your athlete to use a planner or calendar to organize their schedule. Try planning out even the little details like what time to shower or start their math homework. This is key to knowing how much time is allotted to spend on each item.
  3. Define responsibility. Playing sports is a privilege. No doubt your child must maintain a certain level of academic success or accomplish specific goals at home in order to be involved in a sport. Be sure to enforce that responsibility.
  4. Remember to focus. Remind your child to focus on schoolwork when in class and focus on skating when at the rink. Keeping their mind on the task at hand will help them from being overwhelmed. (Turning off electronics during school work helps!)
  5. Communicate. Be sure other family members understand everyone’s schedule. Talk to teachers and coaches to let them know if your child will miss a class or practice for any reason.
  6. Schedule R&R time. Rest and relaxation is an important aspect in balancing school and skating. Encourage your child to set aside at least 30 minutes a day to do something that makes them feel good. Read a book, take a walk or ride their bike. This relaxation time will help them focus even better when they sit down to finish homework or hit the ice for practice.

We hope these tips will help your skater to find success in both school and on the ice!

If you’d like additional resources for parents and athletes, please visit the below links:

Athletes in the Classroom: How to Balance Athletics and Academics

5 Tips for Parents to Ensure Children Have a Quality Youth Sports Experience