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From the GA's Desk: 6 Tips to Balancing Coaching and Grad School

Feb 9, 2023

Author Marilyn Vazquez is a Graduate Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Springfield College.

As a young professional in the strength and conditioning field, being a student and coach can be difficult. Finding the time to recharge and have that balance in both roles is tough, but not impossible.

As students trying to get their assignments done, taking exams, and doing presentations, it can put a strain on our physical well-being and mental health. Also, on top of academics, many are involved in extracurricular activities or have a position on campus. This requires taking time out of our day to fulfill those commitments.  This is why it’s important as students that we have time management skills to get things done efficiently and be able to make every moment of our student life worthwhile.

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As academics pile up along with coaching different teams and creating programs, life can become very hectic. As coaches who always give and give, at times we forget to take care of ourselves. It’s important that as coaches we take care of ourselves, keep our priorities in check, and self-reflect. It is important that we give ourselves time to reflect on what we did well, what we could have improved on, and what we accomplished during the day. This is not only part of our growth as coaches, but also as individuals.

If we are always consumed with all the work we have to get done and fulfill, it becomes extremely difficult to find that true balance in our roles as students and coaches. 

Here are a couple of practical strategies to help you get on the path to living a balanced life as a student and coach:

1. Use a Planner to Stay Organized

Having a planner with you allows you to plan everything out accordingly to stay on track with everything that has to get done. As a student, this means getting assignments done on time and not missing any deadlines.

2. Google Calendar is Your Best friend! 


Google Calendar will not let you down! It is a great way for you to stay on top of your work and not miss any appointments. As coaches and students this is a great tool to use so you can visually see what is on your daily schedule AND get reminders, so you don’t forget.

3. Schedule Time to Recharge

It’s important that we unplug ourselves from our everyday tasks and routine in order to recharge. This can include doing anything you enjoy and love at least once a day. It can be as simple as reading a book for fun or watching your favorite tv show. However, it should be a complete break where you do something non-academic and unrelated to coaching. This will help you rest and recover so when you get back to doing your schoolwork and coaching you feel refreshed and are ready to go.

4. Make Time to Move

It’s crucial that we do not forget about our physical health even if it’s going on a walk or doing yoga. It can be hard to step away from our everyday tasks and routine to work out, especially if we are tired, but it’s important to find time to make it happen! Moving your body and working out makes you feel better, even if it’s for a short period of time. We do not want to neglect our physical health.

5. Clear Some Head Space

Journaling and meditation should be on everyone’s daily schedule. This is a great way to get everything down on paper and look back after a long day. Many times, because we are always hustling, we forget to take a step back and realize how much we have done. Journaling is not only a great way to help us reflect on what we did well and what we can do better each day, but additionally, it’s an opportunity for learning and growing as individuals.

Meditation also plays a big role in our mental health as it gives us time to slow down from our busy schedules and find a sense of peace.  This can be a short 5 minutes of journaling and meditation to help clear your mind and focus your attention on being present in the moment.  We have to make sure that we take care of ourselves completely so we can focus on our studies while also giving back and serving others through coaching.

6. Be Kind and Proud of Yourself

Life can get tough as a student and strength coach, but it’s important to make sure we can find that balance in our different roles to prevent burnout. As young professionals in the coaching field, we should be proud of all the hard work and the countless hours of coaching that do pay off! It’s hard to truly be proud of ourselves when we are struggling to juggle all of our responsibilities as a student and a strength coach. However, it is the most important strategy for living a balanced life in our different roles. Be proud of what you have accomplished and will continue to achieve! 
To wrap things up, it's important as young professionals in the coaching field and as students that we find a sense of peace and balance in all that we do.  That being said, everyone’s balance is going to be a little bit different. Some people are always going to be able to get in a workout and easily meditate, while for others it can be more challenging to really find that time to recharge and unplug from the daily routine. This is all individualized, but it’s important to make sure that we hold ourselves accountable to do our best each day. 

You have a lot to be proud of and are doing great so keep it up!

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