How to mix sports and studies and win at both
I am a Chartered Accountant. I am an ally to UN Women. I run my own social venture, helping young underprivileged children build healthy values for themselves through sport. I have been an international rifle shooter myself. I aim high. I shoot to hit my mark.
Read my story. If you want to know how, to juggle many things and succeed at them.
I got into rifle shooting quite by chance at 13. I had already tried six sports, but when the rifle butt nestled against my cheek, I knew this was it.
Apart from studies, my routine involved physical workouts in the morning, time at the shooting range during the day, and mental exercises in the evening. Yet I continued to be good at my studies.
I debuted in the Indian shooting scene in 2010 and got to represent India. I wore the Tricolor. Still a teenager, this was a big milestone for me.
With 92% marks, I was among the top scorers at the state board. This made choices difficult.
On one side was the promise of international competitions. I would have to train full time, if I wanted name and fame.
If I wanted to complete my CA, I would have to start my articleship soon. This had to be full time too.
Thankfully, it occurred to me that it does not have to be either-or. I could do both, but I would have to make a conscious choice.
After representing India for 6 years, I put aside the promised glamour of international success to first focus on my article-ship and CA exam preparation. Once this was done, I could go back to shoot.
Overnight, from a heavy sporting schedule, I went to being buried in books 16-17 hours a day. This was difficult. My friends had already cleared their exams, and they were in full article-ship.
I questioned my choice between the slogs, but I stuck to it. I knew I had to push myself and push, I did. Maybe my perseverance got a boost, because I knew what I had given up to do this.
I wrote the last exam of CA finals and that day instead of celebrating; I went to the shooting range instead. Ready to pick up what I had dropped. I wanted to go back to representing India.
The national championship was in a few weeks. Yet, I managed to pick up a bronze to make Maharashtra proud. But then Covid came along…
This incident made me realise that if you are good at one thing, don’t dismiss yourself in other directions. You can manage yourself and your time to get the best of both worlds.
People say sports and studies don’t mix. I have been able to do both because of this belief. You can too.
To begin, when you see other success stories, take inspiration from them, but don’t be intimidated by them. Take my case. If I have succeeded at 2 things, it is because I have tried 10. The 8 things that I failed in - you don’t see them.
The only thing is, I don’t give up. I persist.
Earlier, I used to believe in multi-tasking. Not so much anymore. You can not do justice to any one thing then.
My approach is to prioritise every week what needs to be done and give my 100% to whatever I am doing. I still multitask, but only as a conscious choice, depending on what I am doing.
Here are some doable actions for you, if you want to pack in more -
Write a Journal. Plan things on paper. Prioritise.
Call out things that require undivided attention. Give them 100%
Consciously drop all things on lower priority. Take them up, if time later permits
When push comes to shove, remember what is #1 priority for you. Do accordingly.