For professional women athletes, the grind really never stops. Day in and day out, women athletes have to become masters of time management. We asked our team at Parity how they balance it all with a mere 168 hours in the week. Here’s what they had to say!
In Their Own Words: How These 6 Professional Women Athletes Manage Time, Work, and Training
"Lacrosse is a weird sport in that we don’t have a set “team” schedule in both the off season and in season. With 9-10 hours in my week set for training, recovery, and competition prep, I have to be intrinsically motivated to get myself in shape for the season and it’s honestly hard to not have anyone training next to you. I keep to-do lists written out in my notebook and a calendar on my desk and phone to keep track of my schedule since I dedicate 50-60 hours of my week to full-time work. My Whoop band helps me stay on top of my training, recovery, and sleep needs.
In terms of meal prep, I cook every weeknight based on what I’m in the mood for, so my dinners are typically quick, simple recipes that take under an hour to whip up.
It’s about the little things for me – my morning cup of coffee makes me happy and excited! Keeping a book around helps me wake up and settle into the day before I start working, or winding down in bed with my Normatec compression pants on."
"When tournaments and tour stops fall on weekends from Friday through Sunday, I’ll spend upwards of 35 hours a week training, competing and onsite at events. Usually, I’ll train for about 20-28 hours a week on top of full time work. With Parity, these hours rarely occur in the confines of “9-5,” so sometimes my work day starts at 7am, sometimes I finish stuff up after dinner, and I’m not opposed to hopping online on the weekends when I can. I live and die by my Notes, Reminders, and Google Calendar apps! If it isn’t written down, I’ll forget about it. Flexibility is key!
Prioritizing sleep has been huge for me this year. I used to think that sleeping 6 hours instead of 8 gave me 2 more hours of productivity, but I was so tired all the time that I really wasn't getting that much more done. It was inefficient. I’ve also become aware of when I feel my best – I have to train in the morning before I have other stuff on my mind. My daily journal with prompts is also a huge asset. You don't realize how much stuff you're carrying around mentally and emotionally until you sit down and write it out. The fact that it's prompted makes it even easier to get my thoughts out on paper.
I like to remember that women athletes are counting on us at Parity to create opportunities for them. It’s not easy to train at an elite level, work a job, and do life all at the same time. But I keep showing up because, if the roles were reversed, I would want someone to show up for me. The ability to prioritize and reprioritize under stress is how I'm able to keep going. Nothing is going to go according to plan, so be ready to pivot on a dime. I also believe that any skill can be learned – just keep chipping away at it and you will figure it out!
Also, my dogs are everything. They come with me to practice, to most of my competitions, just everywhere. And no matter how any of it goes, they're just so happy to be there and they’re my reminder to be grateful for the little moments."
Track and Field, Biathlon, Cross Country Skiing
"My week consists of 15-20 hours of training, 2-5 hours of PT/chiro, and work in between whenever and however possible. My phone to-do lists, Google Calendar, and tons of sticky notes keep me in check. Other habits that keep me thriving are consistent practice schedules, quickly preparing frozen or pre-made meals, and setting time aside to watch trash television. Vanderpump Rules, anyone?
When things get stressful, a sugary mid-day drink and texts from my partner never fail to brighten my day. Having a good cry is also a way for me to release any overwhelming emotions that inevitably pop up!"
"There's a saying: "no one is coming to save you.” I find a lot of truth in this quote! I’ve had to work for every accomplishment I have in this life. I've never been offered any handouts or shortcuts. The same can be said for anytime I've had to work my way out of a struggle. For me to succeed, I will have to forever grind, hustle, and depend on myself more than anyone else. Life is absolutely hard, but I want to make it worthwhile and fight for the life I deserve. I feel I thrive when I have so much going on!
Meditation can be helpful for me to recenter, to just take a break and breathe. I am subscribed to Arnonld's Pump Club, which is a daily email blog from Arnold Schwarzenegger that shares daily tips on nutrition, fitness, wellness, and positivity. To stay organized, I’m old school – I’m constantly carrying notecards, scrap paper, and a pocket calendar so I can write things down, actually see it, and scratch it off. Pen and paper somehow works better for my mental compared to the lists I have on my phone.
Meal prep is a must – it depends on when I can spare a few hours to cook in my days. The majority of my weekends are spent traveling for wrestling, so I’ll take whenever my return day is to semi-rest and have a hearty cheat meal day.
A staple for me is weight training, which I’ll do at least five to six days a week on top of my travels and actual wrestling days. I also teach group fitness classes – 99% of the time, I’ll do the workout along with my class. At night, I find time to study wrestling film.
My hobbies are mixed in with my work, since my favorite activities include any form of working out or traveling, whether that’s a solid pump or a nature hike. I could definitely spend more time with my loved ones and scheduling in some self care time, so I’ve been working on blocking off sections in my calendar to do that."
"In between 20-25 hours of training, recovery, and competition prep, 30 hours of work, 5-7 hours of meal prep, daily time with loved ones, and 5-10 hours of self care per week, I have to reflect on the reason why I play volleyball.
I remember how hard it was for me during times I’d be unable to play for whatever reason and know that the feeling of being unable to do what I love is significantly worse than any challenging practice or an exhausting day. I love to flip through pictures and videos of great memories that I’ve been able to create because of my sport. It reminds me what I do everything for and how great it can all be!
Doing something intentional with someone that I love every day is essential for me. Every night when I lay down in bed, I also think about why I’m proud of myself that day, which helps me stay positive and recognize how far I’ve come. I tend to be my own biggest critic and doing this each day helps me put things in perspective. Making sure I get at least eight hours of sleep is also huge for me – I see it as a form of self care and take it seriously.
On a daily basis, I live by keeping a running list of my tasks in Google Calendar. I also like to clearly label my goals and priorities for each day and week, making sure to keep note of any other outstanding tasks."
"My schedule differs week by week, but after 50-60 hours of training, 30-40 hours of full-time work, 8-10 hours of self-care, and meal prepping, I personally prioritize sleep, making time for family, and giving myself grace with having to work after regular work hours. Most of my tasks and to-do lists live in the Notes and Sticky Notes apps across my devices. Google Tab Groups also helps me separate applications, projects, and more so I can keep documents and other things top of mind until I need to get to them.
I love both of my jobs and I feel extremely grateful for the ability to do both! My daily coffee is essential, but so is practicing gratitude when I’m especially stressed. When I’m feeling overwhelmed by the feeling of 'not giving my all,' I remember that I’m doing my best to juggle everything I have on my plate. A couple hours a week dedicated to my hobbies gives me a moment to step away from the hustle and bustle of my everyday life."
In the demanding world of professional women athletes, effective time management becomes a crucial skill. Balancing rigorous training schedules, competition preparation, and full-time work requires a meticulous approach. These athletes at Parity have shared their insights on how they tackle these challenges within the limited confines of 168 hours per week.
For women athletes, mastering time management is essential. From meticulously organizing training sessions to optimizing recovery periods, they understand the importance of allocating their time effectively. These athletes shed light on their strategies for maximizing productivity without compromising on performance. Nutrition also plays a vital role in the lives of women athletes. By emphasizing meal preparation and maintaining a balanced diet, they fuel their bodies for optimal performance. Recovery and self-care are crucial components of the athletes' routines.
Recognizing the significance of quality sleep, they prioritize rest to ensure their bodies and minds are rejuvenated. These women understand the importance of sleep for athletes and have dialed in their recovery routines, allowing them to perform at their peak. Additionally, they utilize practices such as meditation and journaling to nurture their mental well-being and find balance amidst the hustle. These strategies contribute to their overall success, allowing them to navigate the challenges of sports, work, and personal life effectively.
By incorporating these strategies and embracing a proactive mindset, these professional women athletes demonstrate their commitment to achieving excellence in every aspect of their lives. Their stories serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who pursue their passions relentlessly. Through effective time management, nutrition, recovery, and self-care practices, they show that it is possible to thrive while juggling multiple commitments. So, whether you're an aspiring athlete or someone seeking inspiration to conquer your own challenges, these remarkable women remind us that with dedication and perseverance, anything is attainable.