Being an athlete and a student can be a tough balancing act, especially when you’re a cheerleader and it’s competition season. During a busy season, you may start to let your school work fall by the wayside. But it’s crucial that you keep up your grades and focus on them. For most school cheer squads, all team members are required to maintain certain grades. If you don’t make the minimum GPA, you may have to sit the season out. Also, if you’re planning on attending college after high school, you’ll especially want to keep your grades up. As busy as your schedule may be, a little discipline and a lot of dedication can help you balance school and cheer. And by staying organized, you can maximize the time that you do have. Follow our tips to help you survive the cheerleading season! Someone Can Help You (And You Can Help Someone!) Almost everywhere you look, there is someone that can help you manage and organize your schedule. Keep your family up to speed on what you have going on, including any older siblings who may have gone through similar situations. Make an appointment with your school counselor early in the season. You can tell them your goals and expectations for the season and they’ll have a better understanding of how to help you later in the year if you need to turn to them. Reach out to your coach if you are feeling overwhelmed. Your coach is there to push you to be the best athlete you can, but also to help you navigate and overcome life’s obstacles. Pay attention to their advise, and be willing to learn from their experiences. Even if you’re thriving in school, don’t let a teammate’s grades slip. You’re part of a team, which means everyone should help one another in order to achieve a common goal of success and improvement. Your team can’t be the best if a teammate isn’t making the required grades. Study in Numbers Start a study group with friends and teammates who are in the same classes. If you’re a captain or coach and you’ve been approached by a struggling teammate, offer to host or supervise a team study session. After or before practice, dedicate time for working on homework or studying. Stay Organized Keep yourself organized. If you aren’t constantly looking for something that is misplaced, or stressing about something you think you’ve forgotten about, you’ll have more time to work hard (and enjoy some down time!). If you are tech savvy, use the mobile apps that are available to help you manage your availability and remind you of events. If you prefer to use a planner, get one that will allow you enough space to write in multiple activities for each day. Remember to actively use your planner and to-do list. It will keep all of your activities, from cheer practice to personal errands, organized (and it feels so good to check things off!). Don’t Procrastinate Most teachers give you plenty of notice before a project is due. Don’t sit on it until the night before the deadline. Spend a little bit of time working on it a couple nights a week and you’ll find that you can complete it with no stress! Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No” If you are getting overbooked too often, or feeling too tired, cut back on your commitments by saying “no” once in a while. As part of a team, you need to be your strongest so that you can support stunts and prevent yourself and your teammates from suffering injuries. Review everything you have going on, so you can prioritize and regroup yourself. Take Care of Your Health! Instead of getting all hopped up on sugar and caffeine, try picking healthy snacks that will actually fuel your energy and brain power. Try whole grains, peanut butter, milk! Try to stick to a consistent sleeping routine, too. If you follow the previous tips there should be no reason that you have to stay up until 3:00 am studying or finishing a project. Try to have a consistent sleeping routine that allows you at least 8 hours of sleep a night. What are your tips for maintaining good grades during a busy season?