Classroom

Beat the Clock: Improve Your Grades and Your Game

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Practicing and playing basketball can be fun, but it can also make it very tough to get good grades. Family, friends, chores, and other stuff can pull you in different directions. Whether you are a student-athlete in middle school or high school, you need good time-management skills to succeed.

Early in my H.S. and college coaching career, I was given the opportunity to learn from John Wooden and Ray Meyer as they discussed the importance of teaching players "self management."

I’ve utilized that knowledge to keep future NBA players active in study hall and focused on their self-management. The following game plan will help you manage your busy life!

Basic Fundamentals

Do two hours of homework/study for every hour of class and get good grades. It’s that simple.

Advanced Fundamentals

1. Make a list of everything you need to do.

2. Divide your list into 3 main areas:

--School: Going to class, doing homework and studying

--Personal: Eat/sleep/hygiene, friends, family obligations

--Basketball: Team practice, individual practice and games

3. Prioritize your lists by importance and timing. For example:

--Must Do – Go to school (8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) Basketball practice. (3:00 – 5:00PM) Homework (6:30-9:30 p.m.)

--Should Do – Work on a paper due in 3 weeks. (3:00- 5:00 p.m. Saturday) Community service project. (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Every 3rd Saturday)

--Want to Do – Play video games with friends. (Saturdays from 5:00 -7:00 p.m.) Go to the mall/movies. (7:00-10 p.m.)

4. Schedule: Use your lists to make a schedule for each day, week and month or more. Get a weekly planner and fill in each day, and even each hour with what you will do. Use the calendar and timer on your mobile phone to keep yourself on schedule.

Strategy

Students who get the best grades aren’t necessarily any smarter, they simply stick to priorities and schedule to stay organized. Remember, the first part of "student-athlete" is student, the first part of "high school player" is high school and the first part of "college scholarship" is college.

Offense

Beat procrastination. "Take the next action." Got a book report due? Just pick up the book! The "take the next action" play will always work.

Play Post and Perimeter

Multi-task. Record your notes and listen to them while you ride the bus to school. Read while doing laundry.

Play Defense

Phone - Set aside a specific time and tell your friends that's when you'll be available to talk or text.

TV – Record your favorite shows and set a time to watch, but only once or twice per week.

Internet – When online, stick to schoolwork till finished, before you reward yourself with email or social networking.

Video Games – Limit yourself to a couple rounds of your favorite games during the week, more only on weekends.

Tony Fryer is director of 1on1 Basketball Academy, a non-profit organization that conducts free/low cost clinics for youth basketball players and coaches throughout the USA and internationally. Learn how NBA scouts, NCAA DI, and FIBA International Professional Basketball coaches work out players like Chauncey Billups, Baron Davis and Carlos Boozer at top training centers. Save money on quality instruction, improve your game/team/league, and help a good cause! Visit 1on1Basketball.net
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