As much as you can plan and hope for a successful school year — or maybe make resolutions that you’ll focus on your grades in 2016 — sometimes things can, well, head off track.
Whether life as a student-athlete became a little overwhelming, or you might not have prepared as well as you should have, the point is without the right grades, your days as a student-athlete will be numbered.
And your days as a collegiate student-athlete may be nonexistent.
A more important point? There’s time to get back on track and turn that transcript around.
If you’re finding yourself in a place where academically, you could be doing better, you need to start thinking about how to be a better student now, so your grades will meaningfully change before the end of the year.
As much as you already know that fact, the sooner you let it sink in to help you pull-up those boot straps, the better. Without a qualifying GPA, or the right signs of growth and effort, it’s going to be much more challenging to find an athletic scholarship opportunity.
The better your grades — and SAT/ACT scores — the more schools that can consider you. Plain and simple.
So let’s start today in reversing the damage of a struggling few months in the classroom.
Get better grades as a student-athlete by owning your situation.
Have you every heard the phrase: “The first step is admitting you have a problem?”
Owning what’s going on with your grades is often one of the hardest parts of getting back on the right track. It can be scary to face reality.
It can also be scary to face reality with your parents or coach.
However, assessing the situation and facing it head on is going to be a vital starting step. What class is the problem and how bad is it? This is going to be like ripping off a Band-Aid: it’s going to be hard, but the worst part is going to be revealing this initial information and as you work from there, it will get easier.
Ask for help with your grades today.
And by today, I mean today.
Approach your teacher and explain to him or her how serious you are about improving your grade and the depths you are willing to go to get it done.
Whether you have a strong relationship with your teacher or not, taking the time to set a meeting with him or her and explain yourself will be a sign of maturity and goodwill that will go a long way in setting you up for support to start showing improvement and success.
It is also wise to inquire about tutoring opportunities or extra help outside of the classroom, either with your teacher or someone they recommend. The bottom line is to let them know you’ve recognized your poor start and are serious about finishing stronger then you are currently standing.
A great strategy to get better grades is to change your seat.
This is a positive step you can take literally immediately towards forming better habits for a particular class or classes.
Move away from your friends. Move out of the back.
Student-athletes often hear the importance of sitting front and center in class, (many college coaches actually require this of their players and check on them to make sure that’s where their sitting).
Eliminating distractions –- and doing so without being told — is empowering, and will send a message to your teacher.
If you have assigned seats, use your meeting with your teacher to discuss a better seating option for you and why it’s important to you.
I guarantee you they will accommodate. Get up front. Get your hood or hat off. Get your pen and notebook out, and get grinding.
Get better grades by leaning on your teammates.
The beautiful part of being part of a team?
There is someone who is either in your same shoes, or has been there before and can help. Open up to your teammates for advice and support.
They need you on the team, and you need good grades to stay on the team, so helping you is going to be a win-win.
Chances are you also have a few guys or gals who perform strongly in school.
Ask them for help, for pointers, or see if they’d consider working with you on the bus to a game or after practice.
Being a student-athlete has many advantages; one major one is a built-in support system. Use it, and then do the same for someone else someday once you’ve pulled that GPA up.
Building a profile with NCSA has a ton of advantages to help you get better grades and test scores, like free help with your SAT through the Princeton Review. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.