Tips for Success As a Student Athlete

study3Student athletes are challenged with the twin demands of athletic competition and heightened academic expectations. Following are some tips for heading off issues and managing what at times can seem like an overwhelming schedule.

1. Learn how to effectively communicate with your teachers. Most teachers will be happy to provide help and support, but you need to effectively communicate with them to let them know when you might need to miss class to be at a game, how you will get the notes from class and when you will make up the work. Keep them posted in person, by email or through a letter from the athletic department.

2. Apply the same principles of preparation for your sport to your classes. Come ready to compete. Read, read, read. It will pay off in the end with heightened focus and broader knowledge that will help you stay fit in the classroom.

3. Be on time and be prepared, whether it’s for practice, class, or study hall. If you are perceived as responsible and reliable from the start, when you are late or you do make a mistake, people will be more likely to cut you some slack when it’s justified.

4. Stick to a daily routine to keep your work, practice and social life in order. To-do lists are a great way to keep all the things you have to do in order and so you can prioritize which things need to be accomplished first.

5. Make an effort to cultivate friends outside your small circle of teammates and coaches.

6. As a student athlete, you are the face of your school and your actions reflect on your institution and your sport, both positively and negatively. Make good decisions, especially when it comes to alcohol and drugs. It’s not just about you anymore; you are part of a greater whole.

7. Plan for life. Cultivate a network and resources of teachers and references you can draw on when it’s time to apply for employment. As an athlete, you have demonstrated that you are goal oriented, work well in teams, communicate, and are organized and disciplined.

8. Get to know your coaches. Part of their job is to mentor their athletes. Let them know if you are struggling with something. Draw on their experience about your sport and about what it’s like to be a student-athlete.

9. Establish good relationships with your teammates. If you love your teammates and encourage them everyday they will do the same for you. A team that loves and plays together wins.

10. Give it your all, every single day. Whether you had an awful day or not, when you step onto the field, you are there to play. After college most student-athletes will never play at the same competitive level again, so you have four years to give it your all, play with no regrets and be the best player you can be.

Optiminds’ college counseling division offers special programs for the dedicated student athlete to help them get into college, conquer their sport and be a success on the field and in the classroom. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at:


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