Balancing Sports and School: 3 Tips for Students Who Are Struggling


We recently highlighted Emma Raducanu’s incredible success in the 2021 US Open. Recognised for her consistency, resilience, and unwavering focus, Emma made the entire nation immensely proud. However, her success also brought another pressing matter to light: student mental health.

Emma has been a strong proponent of mental health. Joining the likes of notable sports stars Naomi Osaka (tennis player) and Simone Biles (gymnast), she has repeatedly emphasised the importance of putting mental health first and retaining a healthy balance in life.

At Cambridge Home School, we have a similar focus on helping our students perform exceptionally well in school and enjoy much-needed time off. Our students explore their interests and hobbies, go on family trips, play their favourite sports, enjoy fun activities, play skill-building games, and make time for numerous other explorations that foster personal enrichment and social development.

While we double down on academic growth, we also focus on non-academic progression. If you play competitive sports, you may struggle to balance school and sports. In this blog, we’ll walk you through three tips to help make things easier.

1. Don’t Prioritise One Over the Other

Students often feel compelled to double down on sports or school. In doing so, they neglect the other. If you solely focus on academics, your sporting performance will suffer. Similarly, if you prioritise sports, your academic performance will go down.

Striking the right balance between each is imperative. It’s important to note that the balance doesn’t have to be “perfect”. Do the best you can instead of forcing yourself to get things right every time. Strive for consistency and progress, not perfection. This balance will help you perform well in both school and sports.

2. Allow Yourself to Take Time Off

As a student-athlete, you may struggle at times. Feel free to take time off when you need to. Plan a relaxing day of self-care, hang out with your friends, or agree to the trip your family has been planning for months.

Student-athletes often feel guilty for taking time off. You may feel compelled to maintain peak productivity every hour of every day. Fight this urge and give yourself much-needed time to rest, enjoy yourself, recharge, and reset.

3. Speak with Your Teachers

If you’re struggling to balance sports and school, we recommend speaking with your teachers. At Cambridge Home School, our teachers get to know each student on a personal level. They have a good grasp on each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, non-academic struggles, and learning trajectory. As you communicate your concerns to your teacher, they’ll help you get back on track.

If you attend conventional (in-person) school, we strongly encourage you to consider enrolling in a reputable online school. Online schooling offers a lot more flexibility to students. If you play competitive sports, you’ll manage to balance sports and school without feeling overwhelmed, burned out, and overburdened.

We offer four homeschooling programs: Primary Prep/Key Stage 2 (ages 8 to 10), Lower School/Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 13), Upper School/IGCSEs (ages 14 to 16), and Sixth Form/AS & A-Levels (ages 17 to 19). For more information, take a closer look at our admissions process and term dates.



What is the school’s approach towards balancing academics and mental health?

Cambridge Home School places significant emphasis on both academic growth and mental well-being. The school encourages students to engage in non-academic activities like hobbies, family trips, and sports. This approach aims for a balanced lifestyle that promotes personal enrichment and social development.

What advice is given for student-athletes struggling to manage school and sports?

The school advises not to prioritise one over the other. Striving for a balanced approach is crucial; it doesn’t have to be perfect. The goal is consistent progress in both academic and sporting activities. Taking time off for relaxation and recharging is also advised.

How flexible is online schooling for students involved in competitive sports?

Online schooling provides a higher degree of flexibility, making it easier for student-athletes to balance their academic responsibilities and sporting commitments. This flexibility prevents feelings of being overwhelmed or burned out.

How does the school handle individual student needs?

Teachers at Cambridge Home School build personal relationships with each student to understand their academic and non-academic needs. If students face difficulties, teachers are well-equipped to offer tailored guidance to help them get back on track.

What age-specific homeschooling programmes does the school offer?

The school offers four age-specific programmes: Primary Prep/Key Stage 2 for ages 8-10, Lower School/Key Stage 3 for ages 11-13, Upper School/IGCSEs for ages 14-16, and Sixth Form/AS & A-Levels for ages 17-19.