A Message to High School Student-Athletes: How to Win the Academic and Running Races of Life
The strategies you learn in running have great applicability to your academic life. Let’s briefly discuss the correlation between these two pursuits.
How to win the race on the road or track
Don’t focus on other runner’s times, performances, or their ability level. Focus on what you can control—developing your own God given potential.
You can’t control how another runner performs. You can control how hard and smart you work, how many practices you attend, and the effort you put in day in and day out.
Champions on the road and track focus on what they can control.
Don’t idolize other runners. Many runners are certainly worthy of your respect but there is only one you. God gave you unique gifts and talents—use them to the best of your ability. You do this by working on the seemingly little things each day.
Focus on those daily details at practice: Be on time to practice; make sure you have good shoes; eat right; drink lots of water; stretch and stay focused in workouts; have fun with your teammates; pray for strength every day.
If you don’t understand the purpose of a workout, just ask for clarification. You should always know why you're performing a certain workout.
Always remember that champion’s lace up their running shoes and get out the door even when they don’t feel like it each day. This attitude separates the best from the rest.
Consistency is the number one secret to running success.
How to win the academic race
Just like you can't control another runner's performance, you can’t control how well your friends perform in the classroom either. You can however control how often you do your homework, if you’re on time to class, and how well you focus in class.
Do not idolize other student’s academic abilities and achievements. God gave you your own unique gifts and talents in this area—use them fully to win the academic race of life.
Your God given potential in the classroom starts with being to class on time. It also means asking questions when you don’t understand the subject matter similar to how you ask a question about the purpose of a workout that you don’t understand.
Sometimes we get distracted and place other people on pedestals and forget to truly develop our own God given abilities. Don’t copy others—be an "original" and the best academic student you can be. Pray for the ability to do your best, truly give it your all in the classroom just like a race, and lean on God for strength.
Remember, academic champions crack the books even when they don’t feel like it just like the runner who laces up his shoes each day and gets out the door when he wants to play instead.
Be consistent in your pursuit of academic excellence.
Lace up your academic shoes daily and do the work required to reach your goals. You’ll be glad you did when college rolls around.
Go for it in academics and running this next year! You have what it takes to become the very best person you can be in both pursuits.