If you play high school sports and want to continue your athletic pursuits in college – maybe even on an athletic scholarship – that’s a worthwhile and exciting goal. But https://essaywriter.nyc/ states that if it is your number 1 goal as a budding college student, you’re setting yourself up for a big letdown.
The NCAA Means Business
You have rules and regulations on your high school sports team, but as a college athlete, you’ll be playing by legally binding rules. All colleges, large and small, must abide by regulations set by the NCAA. If you do anything to break the eligibility rules, your college must declare you ineligible to participate in your sport.
One of the quickest ways to become ineligible is to blow off your studies. You must maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) to remain eligible, and the athletic department at your college keeps close track of the numbers.
Don’t fool yourself by thinking you can somehow “talk your way” into staying on the team or wow your coaches with such athletic talent that they’ll “find a way” to keep you playing. Those kinds of actions get colleges into big trouble, and most won’t take the chance, no matter how good you are.
Going Pro: More Dream Than Reality
Many college athletes dream of going pro, and there’s nothing wrong with dreaming. But when reality hits – the fact that very few college athletes make it to that level – you can be ready to pursue more realistic dreams, if you’ve prepared yourself as a student first.
Let’s face it: it’s easy to get excited when you’re accepted to a college known for its big-time sports programs, especially football or basketball. You’ve heard the reports and read lots of articles on how many players from this college were drafted into the pros last year and how much money they’re making this year. But stop and that that for a minute.
How many total athletes are there at your college? What’s the number drafted? Now do the math. Not a very large percentage, right? A bit like the odds of winning the lottery? But take it a step further: how many college athletes are there in the entire United States, for instance? And how many of those went pro last year?
If the numbers are kind of like a cold slap in the face, keep this in mind: that sting is minor compared to the hard letdown you’ll feel if you put all your energy into athletics instead of academics because one day you’re going to be a star. What if that day never comes?
This is a sad but true scenario for many college athletes – except those who plan. Those athletes who have an academic goal in mind, who explore majors and find one they want to pursue, who feel good when they think about having a career in that field, and who stay on track to go after it when the pros don’t come knocking – those college athletes (college students) are stars too.
Staying Strong in Body and Mind
Ask yourself this: are you going to be a college student who also plays sports or a college athlete who also drags yourself to class every once in a while? If you answer the second one, better have a backup plan when the academic and ineligibility warnings begin to roll in.
If you answer the first one, good for you. But be warned: temptations will abound. You’ll have teammates who tease you about going to class every day. You’ll have friends who encourage you to spend more time in the weight room than in the library. You may even have coaches who pressure you to practice after hours when you should be studying for that exam tomorrow. It’s up to you to stay strong in the face of bad influences.
Just as you exercise and strengthen your body for athletics, you need to exercise and strengthen your mind for academics. Once you decide to be a student first and an athlete second, you’ll just naturally do what it takes to build a strong academic foundation – study, attend classes, meet with professors, and meet with advisors to map out your track to graduation.
All these things will not only prepare you for a successful career in your chosen field but also keep you eligible to play the sport you love – even if it’s only for the glory of your college days.