The importance of academics

10 03 2009

When we started this conversation we said that:

  1. A coach’s job is to collect information, and that
  2. In order to evaluate you, coaches first need to know what kind of player, person, and student you are.

We’ve already touched on the athletic and character pieces. To finish with this particular topic, we ask, “But what about academics?” Well, here it is:

Your personality and athletic talent mean nothing if you don’t have the grades to back them up. You’ve probably heard this advice several times from parents, teachers, and coaches. Listen to them. They’re right. Understand that coaches are busy people. There are only so many hours in a day and so many days in a week in order to get everything they need to do done. So, if there’s a prospect of the same ability as another but with better grades, guess who the coaches are going to recruit and guess who they’re going to drop? It’s a no-brainer.

In rare circumstances a coach will continue to recruit a prospect with poor grades in the hopes that he/she will bring them up. However, the clock is ticking and a coach can’t wait forever, especially when other schools are filling their rosters with equally good prospects. For this reason, it’s important to take your academics seriously from the moment you begin high school (and even before!).

To evaluate your academic abilities, a coach needs the most recent copies of your high school transcript and any test scores (SAT/ACT/PLAN) that you have. You can get your transcript from your guidance counselor and print out your test scores online. Always have a spare copy handy. A coach can’t fully evaluate you without this information.

Lastly, realize that without the proper combination of grades and test scores, you may not even be eligible to compete by rule. There are minimum academic requirements that every prospect must meet before they are able to practice and play. This is what’s referred to as being a “qualifier.”

We’ll go into further detail on these points in the near future. You’ll also hear from student-athletes who have walked in these shoes and are experiencing firsthand the importance of the academics piece in the recruiting puzzle.
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Bottom line:

All of these things – athletic talent, academics, character – matter, and they’re things that you can control. You can make yourself a better athlete, student, and person, but the choice is up to you. How important is it to you and how hard are you willing to work to make it happen? Answer those questions and you can predict your future pretty accurately.

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