The Best of Both Worlds
The most important thing to understand about your recruiting process is that you don’t have to sacrifice your academic goals to play college sports. Prospective student-athletes can have their cake and eat it, too.
Check out the following five tips to learn how you can excel in your sport and in the classroom.
Tip #1 → Know Your Limits
Statistically, a more demanding schedule leads to success for student-athletes. This does not mean that it is true for everyone. This also does not mean that all student-athletes should be overloading their schedules with the most difficult courses available.
It means athletes should not be afraid to challenge themselves both on and off the field. The ability to evaluate your own limits is an important skill to carry throughout this process, and through your life.
Tip #2 → Do Your Homework
If you are lucky enough to know what path you want to take academically, make sure you are putting yourself in a position to get on that path. Do your research and figure out which schools align with both your academic and athletic goals.
SportsRecruits Advanced School Search makes this easy. Find schools that have a program that fits your athletic needs, as well as your criteria for geographic location, division, & school size.
Tip #3 → Be Honest With Coaches
Many top tier programs are hesitant to allow their athletes to pursue reputably time-consuming academic majors. Throughout your recruiting process, be upfront and honest with coaches about your academic intentions.
Ask a coach if the school offers the program you are interested in, if any athletes pursued that degree in the past, and if those athletes were able to remain on the team for the entirety of their career.
Before signing, it’s important that you are certain the coach is comfortable with your aspirations. The same applies to those athletes interested in studying abroad, which can also be a touchy subject with coaches.
Tip #4 → Anticipate the Challenge
You must have confidence in your abilities. That being said, understand that accomplishing dual goals is going to be a challenge. There is a big difference between believing that you can knock off the number one seed, and walking into a game thinking it will be easy to knock off the number one seed.
You need to do all of the extra work and preparation that comes along with pulling off an upset. Anticipate that not many of your teammates will be challenged the way you are. Your life outside of practice might look a little different.
Tip #5 → Confidence Is Key
If you are a worried parent reading this, understand that your children are capable of incredible things. With a team of advocates and the athletic community backing them, they have the tools to be successful throughout the four years of college. Come graduation, they can cap off an incredible athletic career and kick off a rewarding professional one.
If you are a confused student-athlete reading this, trust that you are intelligent and capable. Your ability to balance your endeavors is not determined by your situation, but by your ability to prioritize, manage your time, and make the most of all the tools you have at your disposal.
To learn more about the student-athlete balancing act, check out the following resource.