For most of us, going to college is a rite of passage. Student or student-athlete, the end goal is to build the foundation for your future. From a normal student’s perspective, that just means balancing classes and your social life. On the other hand, student-athletes have another ball to juggle.
For student-athletes, you need to juggle 4-6 classes a week, you need to attend every lift, meeting, and practice, and you need to make some time to have a life outside of those 2. You need to read the bible of collegiate athletics and live by the Student-Athlete Trinity.
Honestly, it’s a lot easier to write down on paper than it is to live by the Trinity, but we’re going to give you a guide to live by.
If you want to stay eligible to play in games, you need to achieve in the classroom. This means that you need to make it to all of your classes every day. Missing a class in school is just shooting yourself in the foot. They’re quick, they make the day move by, and they’re easier than having to study on your own.
You can’t stop there – spend time doing your homework consistently. If you leave it all until the last minute, of course it’s going to feel overwhelming and you probably won’t get it all done. If you really want to set yourself apart as an elite student-athlete, you’re going to need to spend as much time working on your schoolwork outside of the classroom as you do in the classroom.
Lean on your tutors for help, but don’t let them do the work for you. You’re going to make it to the league, but on the off chance you don’t, you better know that those classroom skills will translate to the real world.
The 3 parts of the Trinity aren’t in any specific order, but they kind of are. Academics is the most important piece, but your sport may as well be its conjoined twin. When you’re giving 2 completely separate things your complete attention, it can get to feeling overwhelming pretty fast.
Technically, you’re only allowed 20 hours of team time per week per the NCAA, but that doesn’t include personal workouts, film, and meeting. All in all, you’ll be spending over 30 hours of your time working on your sport. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use some team time to get tutoring and guidance from the staff, but it does mean you need to be ready to work hard on your sport each day.
Your sport can even get in the way of classes. When you have an away game, you’ll need to make up work from classes missed. Make your sport a compliment to the school work you need to do, not a detriment.
You’re a kid when everything is said and done. You aren’t a robot programmed to win a national championship and ace every test. Use the time that you aren’t working in the classroom or on the field to hang out with your friends. “Friends” doesn’t always mean teammates either.
Make friends with people outside of your team. Some of these relationships will last a lifetime and can be extremely beneficial when you’re going into the working world. Not to mention that people outside of your sport will have interests that are completely different from those of you and your teammates, and that’s a great way to grow as a person.
Take time to just be a kid. Keep some time to get to know yourself better and grow inside and out of your sport.
All 3 of these points are extremely important to think about when you’re evaluating schools because they’re going to rule your life over the next 4 years. It’s important to find a school that’s the right fit Academically, Athletically, and Culturally. The right fit will be like a protein shake after a hard lift – the perfect formula to help you grow and push your boundaries.