It’s exciting to watch college athletes on our TV screens each week excelling on the football field, or the basketball court. But when you consider that these athletes are full-time students as well as athletic superstars, it’s even more impressive. Here are some the strategies that those student athletes employ to be able to perform on the field and in the classroom.
Getting a tutor
Student athletes are expected to maintain a full course load, just the same as any other student on campus. But with the strains of practice, conditioning, team meetings and more, it can be hard to take full advantage of scheduled class times and office hours. To supplement their learning, many student athletes work with tutors for specific classes or areas of study. These tutors are training to help personally teach concepts, work with student athletes on homework and assignments, and generally increase their chances of success in their classes. Some universities assign tutors as a mandatory part of student athlete programs.
Many esteemed college sports programs mandate regular study hall hours that college athletes are required to attend each week. Having a set time period (or several) throughout the week ensure that student athletes have dedicated time to sit down and work on homework, studying, and other graded assignments. Study hall takes its place in the student athletes’ schedules alongside their other scheduled program activities like practices and team workouts. They wouldn’t miss those activities, and they are expected not to miss study hall as well.
For some student athletes that have to maintain rigorous team travel schedules for games, such as basketball players, who usually play in two-to-three games per week, it becomes necessary for teachers to permit rescheduled exams. If a player has a scheduled mid-week “away game” that they need to travel by bus to a number of hours before the game starts, then it’s very likely that they may miss a scheduled exam for one of their classes. To work around this, student athletes have set rescheduled exam times, where they may come to the teacher’s office personally to take the exam on their own time. This is how student athletes are able to manage full course loads in addition to a full-time athletic team commitment at the collegiate level.
For student athletes, depending on their sport, there is typically one “off-season.” For example, for lacrosse athletes, whose “on-season” is the springtime, and winter for training, their fall semester is usually more free. So, a common strategy that student athletes use is to ramp up their course load during their off-season, so they can minimize their class time and homework time when they are in the full days of practice and games.
One strategy that often gets student athletes into trouble is pawning off work on others, or finding full essays for free to turn into teachers instead of doing the actual work themselves. With the right resources, support system, and scheduling, however, a student athlete can maintain a full course load with integrity and graduate with a degree as well as an esteemed athletic career.