7 Life Lessons From College Basketball

7 Life Lessons From College Basketball

With college basketball in full swing, and my other hobby being a reporter on a specific conference in college ball, I figured I’d take a look at some of the hard earned lessons these college athletes go through and what you can take away from their triumphs and downfalls.

1. Creating a Work/Life Balance is Tough

College athletes are some of the busiest people I know, and that’s usually without me factoring in practices and work outs. Most have a very strict schedule from when they wake up until when they go to sleep. Managing to balance out school work, athletics, a social life, and general self-care is a hard work.

Having issues with time management? Look into scheduling everything. I mean everything. Get a piece of paper and write down the hours from when you wake up until when you plan on going to sleep. Write in everything that is mandatory (class, work, eating, sleeping, etc.). Then take a look to see what you have left for time and what you can fit in where.

Need some study time? Look for a few hours blocked together where you can be in your favorite study place. Have a club meeting you want to go to? Make sure it doesn’t interfere with classes. Want some time to hang out with friends? See if you have the same time off from class or if you can have meals together. It’s going to be hard to fit everything you have to do and what you want to do in your life. There will most likely be sacrifices, but in the end it will be worth it.

2. You Miss Every Shot You Didn’t Take

A common quote I’ve seen floating around the internet regarding making the most of situations and to go for what you want. But this is totally true in basketball. If you don’t take a shot, you don’t have a chance at potentially scoring points. If you hesitate, you’re most likely going to miss because you’re not confident in yourself. You just need to step back, plant your feet, and let it fly.

How does this work for you? I’m sure there’s something you’ve been a bit reluctant or hesitant to do. It could be asking that cute girl out, ask your professor for some help on a paper, going to a new club meeting where you don’t know anyone… the list goes on. I didn’t take that advice and ended up regretting it. In fact, I’ve listed my 5 Things I Regret NOT Doing in College not too long ago.

3. Celebrate Every Victory. Even the Smallest Ones

Every basket the bench goes crazy. Especially in the more mid-major teams. Celebrating every point, cheering for every positive moment… it helps fuel the game, the crowd and the players. So why not do that in your life? It works in basketball, why not for you?

Get your homework done early? Treat yourself to a fancy drink at Starbucks. Land an A on that paper you thought wasn’t that great? How about taking a night off and relaxing instead? Get praise from your boss at work about your recent performance? You bet that requires a small celebration!

Reinforcing the positive is much better than trying to beat yourself up over failures.

4. It May Look Easy, But It Requires A Lot of Work

If you’ve ever watched a basketball player catch fire, you know exactly what I’m talking about. When a player seemingly can’t miss a shot, is taking more challenging shots, maybe is heating up on the defensive end, it’s not just luck that’s causing that. That player put TONS of work and practice into being able to make those shots. They may have spent hours before and after practice just taking the same shot over and over again.

Same goes for that girl who seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge in your biology class, or that guy who’s amazing in your computer science class. Sure, some times it’s luck and pure talent, but just like on the court, nothing beats hard work and practice.

5. Competition Doesn’t Mean Being Enemies

The conference I cover, which is the conference my alma mater is in, had quite a few international students from Australia a few years ago. My alma mater and another on a few hours away had a combination of almost ten Australian basketball players! Obviously they had a common bond with home country, but it worked out in their favor.

During winter break there is a week where the campus is shut down and no one is allowed on, not even people who require a 24 hour plane ride to get home. So what did they do? They got together and rented a couple of hotel rooms in New York City for the week. These guys who normally battle against each other with the hopes of a conference title were competition to each other, but also good friends.

6. Brush Off Any Mistakes. Tomorrow is Another Day

In the world of basketball, the turn around between games can be incredibly quick depending on the schedule. If a team loses on a Monday night, they don’t have the chance to dwell and sulk about it. Their next game could be Wednesday night. That’s barely a day to look at what went wrong and fix it before it’s time to play again.

Make this part of your life too. Have a bad day? Fail a test or get a bad grade on a paper? Maybe it’s some less than constructive criticism a coworker decided to dump on you that makes you feel like shit. You need to brush it off and pick yourself up. Tomorrow is another day and another game, so to speak. Don’t sit and wallow in your sadness. Sadness just creates more sadness!

7. At the End of The Day, They’re Students First

This is something good to remember first. Student athletes are students first. Their top priority is getting an education, and so should you. Maybe you’re a sorority member, or a club E-Board member. Those things are all well and good, but your studies should come first. You or your parents are paying for that education. Make the most of it.

But what if you’re not a student any more? Maybe you’re a working young professional or a mother. You need to figure out what’s more important to you. Does your family come first? Is it your mental health and well-being over your job? Or is your job the number 1 priority? There’s a reason Mommy Bloggers have that name. They’re mothers first and if something goes wrong with the first half, the second part has to be put on hold, and that’s okay.

Related: 6 Ways to Relax, De-Stress, and Unwind

Want to take a look at my College Basketball Posts and photos?: MidMajorMadness.com | Flickr

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