3 Tips for the Student Athlete

Gaining a sports scholarship at a US college is a dream for many young sports enthusiasts.

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However, it's not as simple as being a awesome football player or freak hockey player, you need to back your good play on the field with hard work in the classroom.

For this: Finding balance is the key to being a successful student-athlete at a US college.

Getting it right can take a lot of work, but once achieved, there are many benefits to reap, both on and off the court.

Here are a few tips that will give you a leg up on other student-athlete hopefuls:

1. Your job is to be a student athlete. Practice, class, film, weights, eat, study hall …. Wait a minute, I don't have any "me time." How am I supposed to check Facebook, do my laundry, call my mom, and play Xbox? Treat your responsibilities as if they were your-full time job, because they are. Create an hourly planner, and update it daily. Stop scheduling nap times, and use breaks between classes to study and get your work done. If you manage your time during the day, you may just find that you have 15 minutes in the evening to sneak in a game of Halo.

2. Telegraph your absences. The key to successfully managing missed classes is to communicate. At the beginning of the semester, let your professors know (in person, by E-mail, or through a letter from the athletic department) the dates you will be missing class to participate in athletics. A week before you miss a specific class, remind the professor, and make a plan for how you will make up the work and obtain the notes. And when you return, make sure your work is handed in at the agreed time.

3. Avoid "imposter syndrome." Inevitably, there will come a time in your college career when you feel as if you're walking around with a sign on your back that says, "Dumb Jock." You may feel you don't belong in the same class as the "regular" students, either because of your lack of self-confidence or poor treatment by those who (for whatever reason) don't like athletics. Step out of your comfort zone: Make an effort to cultivate friends outside your small circle of teammates and coaches. Remember that each student brings value to the institution in different ways, whether it be musical talent, academic excellence, or athletic ability.

The best way to become a successful student-athlete is to work your damn butt off!

On the field or in the classroom, prove you're worthy of a full-scholarship.

It can be hard to manage all of your demands, but once you graduate with honours and a coach and support network around you who couldn't be prouder, it makes it all worth while.

Remember, it's not just about your performance on the field.

Being a successful student-athlete is about being both a good student and a strong athlete.

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