The Single Most Important Thing Your Child Should Do If They Want To Play Sports In College.
The Single Most Important Thing Your Child Should Do If They Want To Play Sports In College. Academics can open doors and shut doors, even for great athletes. Our friends from Scholarshipstats.com recently interviewed college coaches from all sports and across all divisions, and they all had the same message.
Academics are critical to making it to the next level.
I love this message because if a child can excel in academics, then sports can become something they can choose to do or not. But I think it’s important to point out this doesn’t mean they need to take all AP courses and maintain a 4.5 GPA. What this means is that they learn to be conscientious students, develop good work habits, and they work to their capabilities – not to an unattainable level that will overtake their lives. We don’t need to expect perfection. Parents’ obsession with their kids being perfect students and elite athletes is wreaking havoc on our youth’s mental health.
Like everything in life, help them find the balance. Help them learn how to study and to follow their interests in what they study. Use this list as a reminder that it’s not just being a good athlete that can open doors for young people; it’s demonstrating strength as students as well. But please, don’t use this list to rationalize forcing a kid to be perfect. That will do far more harm than good.
Here are nine reasons why your child should make academics a priority if they want to play sports in college:
- The importance of getting good grades starts early in high school. Too many talented high school athletes neglect their grades during their freshmen & sophomore years and try to catch up in their junior and senior years. Unfortunately, it’s often too much ground lost early to make up.
- Most college coaches are confident they can develop a high school athlete into a good college player. But they are also keenly aware they have little control off the field and cannot force an athlete to hit the books and study. The High School athlete who is academically self-motivated will move up the recruiting ladder.
- Recruiting is a very intensive process, and coaches have a limited amount of time and resources. The bottom line is coaches will only recruit those athletes they feel confident will be able to make a successful academic transition from High School to College. Enhance your recruiting profile – get the grades!
- Good grades in High School is the best predictor of getting good grades in college. College coaches want to avoid recruiting athletes who end up being ineligible to play or wash out for academic purposes.
- Good grades in high school are a good indicator that the athlete has developed time management skills. This will be essential in college, where both the academic and athletic workloads are more challenging than in most high schools.
- Good grades in high school are an indicator that the athlete works hard and applies him or herself. Don’t underestimate this factor – the perception that an athlete is “lazy” will immediately kill their chances with many, if not most, college coaches.
- College coaches want their players to succeed in school and graduate, and it’s part of the effectiveness factor of many coaches’ ratings.
- Excellent grades might qualify the athlete for an academic scholarship and free up athletic-based awards for other players – coaches really love this situation.
- Good grades are an indicator of smarts, and coaches want smart players on their teams!
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