Back to school! Now that summer is over, you must now transition from junior golfer to student-athlete. Being a student-athlete, at any level, requires a significant commitment and an ability to manage your time efficiently, plan out your daily schedule and follow through on your assignments. The demands of a student-athlete are even greater in college and it is critical to develop the appropriate habits in junior high and high school. Remember, that there is a reason the word student comes first in student-athlete.
College golf coaches want committed student-athletes. They will look closely at your academic profile (GPA, course load, SAT/ACT) during the recruiting process. The demands on a college golfer’s time are as great or greater than any college sport. Golf coaches understand this and are not only recruiting talented golfers, but also players that can handle the balance of both golf and academics. Additionally, a great benefit for a coach to recruit a top student is that a prospective student-athlete (PSA) may be eligible for academic aid and therefore not require a coach to use his NCAA allotted athletic aid (for Division I & II). Finally, the more accomplished your academic profile, the greater number of college options you will have to choose from.
For those of you that may have struggled initially academically in high school, make sure you finish strong. Coaches will look at your academic trend and take notice of those that have improved their GPA throughout their high school career. Therefore, never give up on improving your grades and remain steadfast in your academic pursuits. Additionally, do not be afraid to ask your teachers for help. Most teachers appreciate you coming to them when you do not understand something as this shows you care about the class and learning. Also, for those of you who are going to be seniors make sure you continue to do your best in the classroom and finish strong academically to ensure positive momentum as you enter college.
Keep in mind that to be eligible to compete in Division I or II athletics you must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. There are specific academic-eligibility requirements, which include your academic GPA, SAT/ACT score and number of core courses taken in high school. A great resource to learn more about the NCAA Eligibility Center is the 2011-2012 Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete, which can be downloaded at http://www.eligibilitycenter.org/.
Academics should always be a top priority. The new school year brings an opportunity to set new goals and create habits that will lead to success in the classroom.