Parents of athletes are always hearing about how important grades and grade point average are when their child plans to attend college. And it’s true; academics are the most important part of a high school student’s profile. Just as important, parents should be involved in their school curriculum and know what is expected of them. Students should be able to come to their parents for help and support if they need it.
All Four Years Count, Not Just an Athlete’s Junior and Senior Years
Many parents also hear that the junior and senior years are the most scrutinized. This is mainly true because this is the time when the SAT and ACT come into play. The fact of the matter is college admissions and the NCAA look at all four years of a student athlete’s marks and scores, not just the junior and the senior years.
It is very important that students learn how to balance all areas of their life, especially athletes. This means managing time between school and homework, practices and games, socializing with friends, and time to take care of themselves (sleeping and eating right). These kinds of habits need to be established before high school to ensure a smooth transition into the increased workload of a high school student.
Set up a Routine to Help Your Athlete Stay Organized
One way to encourage this is to establish a routine for your kid(s). From going to school, to going to practice, to coming home to do homework before anything else, to keeping up a routine will help reinforce the importance of homework and studying and will help busy kids to manage priorities. Routines like these will transfer easily into skills that they will use when they move on to college.
As a part of the routine, parents and their kids should also collaborate on study rules. Having study rules can help prevent arguments and misunderstandings when the student is studying. As a student, kids should know what distracts them from studying and limit their exposure to those things when it’s study time. However, if they can prove that they can get their work done with music on or by taking periodic breaks, then parents should agree to let them do so. That way, studying doesn’t become something they resent or give up on.
Another great way to encourage efficient study habits is to create a “study space” for your student. Having a designated space for studying helps identify the time your child should be concentrating on their schoolwork. This space should be free from distractions and still open for you to be able to help them if they need it. Having a specific study space also encourages the organization by keeping all of their school-related materials in one place. Being organized in their space will help them keep track of their schoolwork for each class and ensure that all assignments and studies are getting done.
Be Available for Help and Take an Active Role in Your Child’s Academic and Athletic Careers
Parents should also make sure to be available for help if their child needs it. Whether to answer questions or to proofread an essay, parents should stay engaged in their children’s school work. This will also help the parent identify if their kids are struggling in any way. With the help of a tutor or extra attention from a teacher, parents need to be able to speak up and recognize when their kid needs help.
When parents take an active role in their children’s academics, the kids are more likely to establish the good study habits they will need as they progress onto high school and even college. Doing well in school is so important for their future, and with the parents’ help, they can learn the tools they need to succeed.
Do you have questions about your academic eligibility? Do you know if you are going to meet the core course requirements to be a college athlete? Ask your questions in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!