Making the Grade in School

Why it Matters

He was all-district. She was all-region. Both had big dreams. Neither dream came true. It wasn’t their talent that closed the door. It was lousy grades.

It doesn’t matter how much talent or skill you have. You have nothing to offer to a high school or college team if you can't stay eligible.

If you are serious about athletics it is in your best interest to prove that you are serious about school as well.

Five Winning Habits

The better your grades, the better your options. Learn these winning habits for making the grade and you will put yourself in position to move to the next level in sports and in life.

1. Be There. The most important winning practice in school is to be there. Be there physically at every class and event. Just as important, be there mentally. Get yourself mentally prepared for each class. Work hard to keep your focus on the teacher and the assignment. If you find yourself floating, bring yourself back – just like you do in athletic competition.

2. Be Respectful. Coaches hate to hear about athletes who are disrespectful at school. Respect your teachers and the school staff. Respect all of the students around you. Don’t let bad conduct put you in detention or suspension.

3. Deliver. Just like the best athletes deliver in competition, the best students deliver in school. Know your assignments. Write them in a note book to keep them all straight. Then deliver every assignment on time. If you find yourself falling behind, ask the teacher for help. No matter what, always deliver.

4. Set Short-Term Goals. One of the best ways to stay focused is to set short-term goals. Set a short-term goal of being at school every day and completing your assignments. Set another goal to improve your work in just one class. As you achieve each goal, congratulate yourself and set a new goal. Before you know it you will be performing to the top of your potential.

5. Finish. You cannot reach the next level without finishing the job where you are. Find out what it takes to graduate from your school. Also find out what it takes to get into a good college for you. Ask your teachers, counselors, and coaches to help you find the answers. Then map out a plan to take the courses you need and finish on time. Keep asking for help as you need it. And never, ever give up!

Think About It…

1. Think of someone you know who encourages you to do well in school. Why do you think that person cares about your education?

2. Think of a time when you did a really good job on a school assignment. How did you feel during and after that situation?

3. Imagine yourself as a coach recruiting two athletes of equal ability. One works hard in school, the other doesn’t show much interest. Which athlete would you want to coach?

Take Action

Look through the five winning habits for making the grade and commit to doing one thing to strengthen your school work starting right now.

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