How do you manage?

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I was wondering how you or your fellow gymnasts manage time and if you have any tips for managing time. I am in the 10th grade and go to gymnastics five times a week for 3 hours at a time. I am taking a heavy course load at school (AP Chemistry, AP World History, AP Statistics, AP Literature, Honors Playwrite English, Honors German), an intensive 13 week precalculus/AP Calculus BC course and an essay writing course outside of school, piano lessons with two different teachers, violin and flute lessons and soccer. I am often having to chose between which activity to go to for example tonight I had soccer practice, and gymnastics but I couldn't go to either because I have a Chemistry exam tomorrow (that I should be studying for :) ) and I have yet to prepare at all this week due to other commitments. Any suggestions or anyone else having similar situations?


Active Member
Former Gymnast
Jun 24, 2008
Work ahead and prioritize. Also, honestly, you'll have to drop some of the lessons because you're going to end up being exhausted all the time. I was in orchestra (~3 hours/week rehearsal outside of school) and had private lessons for violin and piano (another 3ish hours of practice per instrument outside of lessons), gymnastics for 16 hours/week, dance once/week, and I think I ended up with 11 APs, so I can definitely relate. I dropped dance my freshman year because I had no long-term plans or major interest in continuing, and then I decided to drop piano my sophomore year because I was entering one of the most advanced levels in the annual competition, and 30 minutes of practicing per day wasn't going to cut it any longer. Once I narrowed down my activities to gymnastics, violin, and orchestra, my schedule still wasn't light by any means (1-2 AM bedtime was normal), but it was certainly a lot easier.


i totally agree with gymkat! You have to be incredibly self disciplined and realistically look at which activities you enjoy most/want to progress most with and maybe drop something. With me school always came first-if i started to do badly at school or wasn't doing all my homework i wasn't allowed to go to any after-school classes. I quit gymnastics after not being able to juggle gym, swimming at county level and being on my Pony Club team and competing in BSJA-ponies took up basically all my time but it was what i enjoyed the most so everything else fell by the wayside. it's a really tough decision to make but sometime it just needs to be done!


Active Member
Sep 9, 2007
Plan, plan, plan! Work at lunch, on the way to gym, lessons, anywhere. If you have a free period, use it. Speak to your teachers and explain how much you do, and maybe ask if you can do more at weekends instead of during the week.

I think you might need to drop something though- the worse thing you could do is overwork yourself so that everything starts suffering.


Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Club Owner
Jan 4, 2008
Many gymnasts and other very busy teens find they get more done because they are busy. They have a limited amount of time to do things and they must be organised to get it done. While their classmates have seemingly limitless time, they procrastinate and nothing gets done to the last minute.

You can reduce your need for doing as much study and homework by using your classtime well. If you work hard to get all your classwork done in class, you wont have so much to finish at home. If you take effective notes and pay complete attention you wont need to study as much. Do you get any free perioeds or study halls at school? If you do use them to your full advantage, dont just go in and say "ok, what should I do?". Have a plan of attack ready before you go.

Look at your schedule when do you have free time and use it. In the mornings, on the trip to school or gym, on the bus, in the car, on your night off, on the weekend.

It can help to write a to do list each morning when you get up, with the things you have to do from the most urgent to the least urgent. Then write a quick plan for the day on how you will get it all done.

I would consider dropping some of your school stuff. Colleges will be impressed enough with AP course and honours course without you having to take so many. What you find usually is if you take a few you can really focus on them and do well. If you take too many you will spread yourself very thinly and become overwhelemed usually meaning you dont do that well in any of them.

Once you start having to choose between activities then you are doing too much. It is unfair to everyone if you do that. If you have agreed to do both soccer and gymnastics on the same night then you have to let someone down and thats not fair. Its not fair to your soccer team if you let them down by not doing practise, nor is it fair to your gymnastics team and coach. Nor is it fair to your parents who no doubt have to pay for all training sessions whether you attend them or not.

If you make a committment then it must be that, a committment. If you sign up to do gymnastics on a Monday night for example, then monday nights are dedicated to gymnastics if another activity comes along on a Monday that you want to do. You can't do it. It will feel like you want to do everything and dont want to choose, but you must choose.

If your soccer team does not regularly hold practise on that night and it was just a call in for an extra practise then you have to turn them down if you were committed to gymnastics first.


Jul 13, 2008
rainy washington
I agree with everything said here! Definetly work ahead, and all your free time use it to your advantage. If at some point you seem to be just working and doing activities with no time to relax, maybe drop something.


People from school think I'm insane because of my schedule. I chose to go to public schools. I'm a level 10/pre-elite in 8th grade. I do band in school and I also do girls choir out of school. I take dance with my friends. In the summer I like to do diving with some other gymnasts. I'm taking all advanced classes in school and I'm two grades ahead in math. Ontop of all that I practice about 36-40 hours a week for gymnastics. Honestly my biggest tip is to use every minute you have. If you have 5 minutes left in a class do your homework rather than talking. If you have a laptop start typing papers on the way to the gym.


Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jun 26, 2008
I would also re-evaluate all of your activities. Also, is there a reason that you are taking so many AP courses in 10th grade? If you are taking them because of potential college credit, I'd speak to your guidance counselor. Many colleges and universities only accept up to a certain # of credits, so your other effort for AP credit may be wasted. For example, my college that I attended would only accept up to 9 AP credits (3 classes worth). Some of my friends colleges accepted even less.

Just something to consider.:) You need to be careful. You sound very overscheduled and that can definitely become a huge problem!


I am taking a heavy course load at school (AP Chemistry, AP World History, AP Statistics, AP Literature, Honors Playwrite English, Honors German), an intensive 13 week precalculus/AP Calculus BC course and an essay writing course outside of school, piano lessons with two different teachers, violin and flute lessons and soccer.

That is a lot to manage on top of gymnastics :eek: I think you should drop something so you don't get so stressed out.
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