This past academic year in my graduate assistantship at Duquesne University, I have had the pleasure to work with college student athletes. Working closely with them has made me realize the importance of supporting student athletes before they reach the college level. Below are some ways you can support student athletes at your school.
Student athletes are under constant pressure to perform on and off the field. Juggling the dual role of student and athlete can be a challenge. They get pressures from their coaches, teachers, parents, and themselves to perform at a high level in all domains. Understanding and acknowledging the level of stress that student athletes face can be a great first step in working with them and supporting them. School counselors can be a great resource for these students.
School. Practice. Homework. Games. Exams. Travel. Repeat. Student athletes who excel in the classroom and in their sport have mastered time management. The great thing is that time management is a skill that can be taught. Work with student athletes who are struggling with time management and teach them how to schedule time for their various commitments. School Power: Study Skill Strategies for Succeeding in School by Jeanne Shay Schumm, Ph.D, has great resources for helping students with time management and study skills.
If teachers, coaches, and families aren’t communicating, it can put a lot of undue stress on student athletes. Help bridge communication between all parties so that everyone is on the same page in regards to academic and sport schedules. Create policies at your school that support student athletes so they can make up work missed during travel and games. When everyone is communicating with each other, student athletes will get the understanding and support they need to be successful in both academics and sports.
How do you support student athletes at your school?
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For more information on supporting student athletes in high school and beyond, visit NCAA.org.
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