As an athlete there are many things that come up as your season starts. For many of you school starts at the same time as your sport, adding more pressure and time commitments.

There are a few things that you must do to prepare yourself for the year. Some of the aspects that are part of this is being physically prepared to participate and participating because you want to.

Eat well. Your mind and your body can not function properly if it is not being given the appropriate fuel. As much as a bag of chips and a pop seem like a good idea for lunch. By the time you finish school, practice and studying you will not be doing so at full capacity. Depending on your schedule and activity level, the amount and number of times you will eat will vary. What is important is to make sure you are eating whole food, and drinking lots of water. The less you let your energy levels fluctuate, the more consistent your performance at school and sport will be.

Have a schedule. Know when your practices are, when your games/competitions are and when your assignments and tests are. If you know there is going to be a conflict, talk to your teachers ahead of time, this way you are both prepared for the situation.

Find a buddy. It can be a team mate, class mate, sibling, friend, coach or teacher. There is going to come time where you may feel overwhelmed or not sure of how to handle a situation. Use this buddy to talk to. Sometimes just talking to someone can make the world of difference. Knowing that someone else is going through the same thing as you or maybe them not being directly involved will give them a different perspective. Never feel like you have to make it through anything alone.

Take time for yourself. Outside of school and sport, do something else. Go to a movie with your friends, spend time with your family outside of driving to a practice or game. By being involved in other things you will avoid mental burnout, what you must remember is not to over schedule your life. Down time and rest are extremely important.

The final thing to do for the season and during is to have fun. Nothing else matters.

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