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How To Set Priorities As A Student-Athlete

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Eric Fischer (@efisch17) swam for NCAA Division III swimming powerhouse Denison University. As a senior captain and two-time Academic All-American, Eric helped lead the Big Red to four straight conference titles and two national championships. He is currently a Marketing Manager at PCA and earned his Master's degree in Sport Management at the University of San Francisco to help teach others the invaluable life lessons swimming taught him.

Eric's coach at Denison, Gregg Parini, suggested that athletes prioritize their social life and academic tasks before focusing on anything athletic or swimming related. In his opinion, student-athletes could really only be present in the moment at practice or competition if their social and academic lives were going well and they were taking care of themselves as people first.

Having a 'good' social life did not mean partying, but simply maintaining solid relationships. A healthy academic life meant being organized and diligent enough to finish tasks efficiently. Setting priorities in this manner allowed for complete focus on the sport during practices and competitions so that athletes could get the most out of their time and not have overwhelming social or academic problems creep in and take away from the experience.