First to provide you a bit more info on me, I’m a fourth-year student at UNSW, I study a double degree of Mechanical Engineering and Commerce and compete internationally in Alpine Ski racing.

Currently, I am in Arrowtown, New Zealand, as my training is based at Coronet Peak for the Southern Hemisphere season, which begins start of July and finishes end of September.  

My weekly routine varies massively depending on whether I’m in the mountains or not and what phase of the season I’m in.

That is, training or competition, so I’ll start with what I’ve been up to recently.  

Over the last couple months, I have been in a training block with the aim of preparing for the northern hemisphere season, beginning start of November ending mid-April, where I do the bulk of my competition. A week of training here in New Zealand consists of the following:  

Monday – Friday

Monday to Friday is pretty much all the same. 

The day starts at 5:30am with driving out at 6:15am and on the snow at 7am. We will then train from 7-11ish, consisting of a couple of runs, free skiing, as warm up and then 8-10 runs in a racecourse with a coach watching, giving feedback on technique and line.

After training we'll have some lunch, then head to the gym where we will do either low volume weightlifting, core, plyometrics, agility or aerobic training.   

Following gym, we’ll head home. We would normally get home about 1:30pm and then have a second lunch at around 2ish.

After lunch we tune skis, which involves making the edges sharper and waxing the bases so they stay fast. I’ll then hit the desk for some study for 2 hours, if I’m not cooking (I alternate with my teammate) or if I am cooking, then just 1 hour of study.

Following dinner, a bit of chill time and lights out at 9pm.  

Photo: Tamara Sales.

Saturday - Sunday 

The weekend consists of big sleep-ins, a lot of Uni catch up and not much else.  

As you can see when I’m skiing, I don’t get much Uni done and there’s even less time for socialising, so when I’m back in Sydney (between April and June, as well as October) the priority shifts and the weekly routine changes. 

I spend a lot more time studying and catching up with friends.   

When I head over to Europe for the northern hemisphere season and go into a competition phase, everything changes again.

We start travelling a lot more, training less, less time in the gym and spending a whole lot of time waiting around on mountains for ski races. In ski racing, a race consists of two runs with each about 60 seconds long, and yet somehow it almost always manages to take all day.

As a result, my study time generally goes to about zero during a competition phase, which always makes for an interesting catch-up cram afterwards… 

As far as words of advice for First Year students, I suggest reading Atomic Habits by James Clear.

This year was the first time I’ve maintained a High Distinction average and I attribute this to Atomic Habits. It’s the best resource I’ve come across on how to create and maintain habits and in my opinion. Habits are everything!  

I hope this helps anyone looking at combining study and sport!  

Follow or message Jack on Instagram: @jack_adams