How To Take Advantage Of Being A Student Athlete
Ways College Student Athletes Can Take Advantage Of Being Student Athletes
With March Madness going on I figured I would talk about how student athletes can take advantage of their platform at the collegiate level. I know there has been a lot of talk on whether the NCAA should compensate the student athletes and how the NCAA can help student athletes in a more beneficial way. No matter what your opinion on those issues are I think we can all agree on how hard it is for student athletes to make the jump to the professional level. The chances of a collegiate student athlete going on to play professionally are small. By small, I mean less than 5% chance in most case give or take. If we take this current March Madness, how many players will go on to the NBA or even overseas? What’s next for the majority of student athletes that don’t go pro.
It’s hard to prepare for life after sports when you are going to school for sports. Very few understand the schedule of an elite student athlete, it’s almost as if you are an athlete student. I think Shane Battier said it best when he said that student athletes need to be just students sometimes.
With that being said here are some ideas I recommend for every student athlete to do in order to take full advantage of their time at their respective universities.
Pick a Major That Correlates with your Passions
I’m always perplexed when I see student athletes pick a certain major because the course load is easy. As a student athlete who has the benefits of a scholarship, free access to tutors, and other services , it’s a great opportunity for a student athlete to explore their interests and pick a major they see themselves working in later down the road. It makes zero sense for me to major in history if I want to work in finance. If my athletic career doesn’t pan out, I would at least like to have some experience in a field that I see myself pursuing. Student athletes at the very least can spend their hours learning about something that peaks their curiosity and helps them get off to the right foot either after the professional career or after they graduate.
*Side note: If you plan on going to graduate school, sometimes it is smarter to pick a major that you are confident you will get a better GPA in to help with the application process. Since you are going to graduate school, you will be pursuing your interest in a more specialized fashion.
Join a Network/Club
As an student athlete, your team is your family. That shouldn’t stop you from branching out and meeting other people outside your sports or athletic group. We have a tendency to gravitate towards people we can relate too. Take this opportunity to join a group or network or club to meet new friends and associates that can you connect with later on in life. Whether for a job opportunity or something else. Alumni networks are strong and you never know who can help you after you graduate or later after your career is over, relationships can benefit you over time.. Branching out also gives you an opportunity to get away from the stresses of your athletic schedule. Sometimes it’s beneficial to get away and connect with people that are interested in your other passions besides the sport you play.
Connect with your Counselor, Athletic Director, & Teachers
These are the individuals that will help your college career run as smoothly as possible. All these figures have your best interests at heart. Being an athlete student is a feat within itself between the classes practices workouts and games, one can feel overwhelmed. Take advantage of the resources offered at your disposal to make your time run smoothly.
Every student athlete would love to get paid but we are not at that point yet. So might as well take advantage of what you do have and make the most of it. You have a platform and it’s never too early to start building your brand and making the right connections for when you reach the next level whether athletically or career wise. Even if you can’t monetize you can start planting the seeds.