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Student athletes have notoriously busy schedules. Anyone lacking personal experience with the student-athlete lifestyle might underestimate just how disciplined and dedicated they need to be in order to excel both academically and in their sport of choice.

Many student athletes wake up early for training or morning classes followed by afternoon practice then homework, and many travel on the weekends during the season. Studying can sometimes be a challenge when time and energy are limited because of the demands of college sports.

Here are five tips for student athletes that will make study time more effective and efficient.

  1. Chew gum. Many people claim that chewing gum while studying helps keep them focused by giving them an outlet for pent up energy or anxiety. If a student athlete is used to constant movement and feeling stifled by sitting and studying for hours, chewing gum can be a way to release that energy.
  2. Write and rewrite. Writing notes down physically on paper (not on a computer) can help you remember important information.
  3. Create associations with the material. It is much harder to memorize isolated facts than it is to remember connected information. Whether you use a mnemonic device or another strategy, try to connect the information you are memorizing so there are multiple mental pathways to access it.
  4. Explain the material to someone else. One sign that you fully understand something is when you are able to explain it to someone else. Find a friend or family member and ask if you can explain your study material to them.
  5. Sleep. While pulling an all-nighter might seem like a valuable way to cram for a test, poor sleep can contribute to fatigue, confusion, memory loss and cognition issues. Make sure you are well rested before your test.