High school sports provide the chance for a glorious experience. Finding profound success at such an early age can make life practically intoxicating. But the student athlete serves as a student first and an athlete second. Those demanding roles can lead to unnecessary heartache if not handled with care. But a few simple steps can help every athlete find as much success off the field as on.

We’ve all heard it: attitude is everything. This is never more true than for a gifted athlete. Yes, you’ve worked hard, but you also have a gift, either of stature, or speed, or agility. Carry that gift with humility, treating others as just as important as you.

The athlete must manage his/her time. You have committed several extra hours each day to the sport. That means you have less than the other students in your class. You must choose carefully how you manage that limited resource. Come up with a system—or get some suggestions from others who have been through it.

Do your homework. Would any athlete find success if he didn’t condition his body for the sport, such as lifting weights and staying in tip-top shape? No way. That’s homework for the athlete. The homework for the student works the same way. You cannot expect success in the classroom without doing it.

Get enough rest. Yes, this is a problem for most teens today, but one that the athlete simply cannot afford to ignore. Your body must recover from the hard work you put it through. You will not perform at your peak—in either the classroom or on the field—if your body does not get adequate rest. Manage all of your time and make sure you get the rest you need.

Find a buddy in your hardest classes. When you miss some of the notes in that class or need a reminder, they can fill in the gaps. You can do the same for them at another time. On that day when you are wiped out after a late night game and you miss some important info, your buddy can keep you informed.

With just a few easy steps, you can succeed in both roles of student athlete.

At CoolSpeak, we believe that you are capable of being the very best with proper preparation and the passion to succeed. Use your talents – athletic and academic – and make the most of your high school and college careers!