Balancing Books and Basketball

Making the basketball team might be the only thing on your mind and the one goal you are putting all of your energy into. However, if you are not able to keep up with your classes and assignments, your basketball season is quickly going to become a nightmare.

Steps to a Successful Academic and Athletic Season

Inform your teachers and counselors that you are on the basketball team. Don’t assume that everyone in the school knows that you are on the basketball team, let them know some of your outside obligations. This doesn’t mean that you are expecting special treatment, but if you ever miss a test due to traveling or anything else related to the team, arrangements could be made in order for you to make-up the work.

Be Aware of Requirements

If it is not explained by your coach or athletic director, inquire about what is needed to stay on the basketball team. Most schools require a certain GPA, and attendance record to continue to be part of the team. If you feel like you are slipping in one class, especially a math class, get extra help quickly before you fall too far behind.

Behavior In and Out of School

Being on a team is like having a job. Whether you think so or not, your school and your classmates look up to you and expect that you will represent your school proudly out in society. Messing up off of school grounds can still get you thrown off the team.

Balancing Time

Doing well in school is hard enough on its own! When you add in practice, traveling, and the actual games, keeping track of everything you have to do can become overwhelming! If you have study periods throughout the day, try and get your homework done then. After going through a long day of school, playing in a game, and coming home around 9:00 P.M., you are going to want and pass out, not do homework! Try and not let your mind convince you of things which you know will never happen. Be honest with yourself and figure out when your most productive times of the day are.

Have Fun!

Being part of a basketball team should be an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. Don’t let trying to impress scouts and friends get in the way of why you started playing basketball in the first place. You play because you love the game. Work hard in school and in other areas of your life, and everything else will fall into place. You will most likely have life-long relationships with many of your teammates. If you are fortunate enough be to part of a basketball team, work hard not only for those who respect you, but work hard for yourself and develop a discipline and work ethic that you can take with you as you move forward in life.


Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people.  Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.