The growing body of student archers faces a challenge: prioritise studies or sport?

Guest writer Izzy Carpenter is an English student and member of the Great Britain junior squad.

As a college student myself, I understand the difficulties of balancing competitive archery and studies. The schedule is not always a regular one and we need to fit in classes, revision time, complete coursework, go to the gym, practise and – not to mention – travel and compete at weekends.

But it doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are my top tips on how to pair the student life with archery.

1. DIARY DATES

I am often asked how I complete my work on time. I keep a diary. In it are the assignments due – and a plan of the most important work I need to complete. Paired with my archery diary – when I have to train, for how long, the focus and how many arrows, and when I have to compete – it helps me manage studying around my archery schedule.

General organisation is also key – I sort my work into folders so that it is easy to find, and keep my archery kit in order in its box.

2. FREE PERIODS

Whether you’re in school, college, sixth form or university, you’re likely to have periods in the day when you’re free. It is very tempting to waste time, relaxing with friends, but don’t. Whether it’s spent on outstanding work or archery related activities, like mental preparation or even fletching, it should be time that’s well spent.

3. HELP

Never be afraid to ask for help. The boundary between students and teachers or lecturers can be a firm one, but they are likely to be more helpful than not. If you feel stressed with all the coursework that you need to complete, when there’s also a major competition on the horizon, go and speak to them.

There’s always the offer of a deadline extension that’s a possibility – and there’s no point in rushing a piece of learning to get it in on time if it results in both the archery and the work suffering.

4. WAITING GAME

Take your study to training. When you get a break in between shooting, grab a pen. It helps you relax a little and complete assignments at the same time – especially if you’re practising with a lot of people and the pace isn’t too fast.

5. PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL

As archers we know how important it is to train our minds and our bodies. This applies for life outside of archery, too. When you are physically healthy, eating a balanced diet and exercising, it makes you feel good – use that work you put into archery, and apply it to your studies.

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