Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Youth Sports: Tips for Athletes to Get Good Grades

My daughter, CC, will school you with a cross over dribble move.

My daughter will teach you a lesson if you attack her goal on a 1v1,

My daughter will give you an education on physics (ballistics) with her volleyball serve.

I am very proud of her, but I am more proud when I see her report cards. In 2011, CC played in 156 games (Elite Level Soccer, CYO and AAU Basketball and CYO Volleyball.) He compiled a 90-60-6 record across all sports. She attended exactly 100 practices. She also earned almost all A's on her report cards.

I watched her study last night and I thought that her approach to school could help others. Here are my observations.

  1. She stays focused. She does her homework and does not get distracted by everything around her. She does not quit until she is done with the assignment. It's like playing until the final whistle.
  2. She prides herself on doing work herself, but she is not afraid to ask for help. She doesn't waste time spinning her wheels. She's open to coaching.
  3. She has mastered Google. If she cannot find an answer in the school book, she'll Googles it. She goes to Wikipedia a lot too. There are so many age appropriate resources to find answers. Again, efficient use of time is crucial for the busy athlete.
  4. She stays incredibly organized. She takes the time to put things away in their proper place so she can find it when she needs it. Again, managing time.
  5. She sets goals for herself. She asked if she could get a cell phone if she got straight A's, she missed it by one B+. (We gave her a phone for the effort.)
  6. She typically starts her homework before she goes off to her sporting event. If she does not complete the HW before practice, she gets right to it when she returns. 
  7. She does not get discouraged if she a test or HW assignment does not go her way. She has the confidence to make up for the set-back. She learned from sports that you can come back from a deficit.
  8. She has the confidence to go to the teacher as ask for help or extra-credit.
  9. Good is not good enough for her. She treats school / learning like a competitive sport. She puts in the effort to succeed.
  10. She practices and practices for tests. 

The Main Point

I recently wrote a post on the slim chances of going Pro. Within that post, I put this personal note to my kids.

Please study in school because the chances of going pro in your chosen sport are slim. Go after it if that is your passion, but study, study, study so you have something else to fall back on.

Be proud of your kid's accomplishments on the field and court and help them succeed in sports, but you need to stress success in school too.


  1. Great post! One of my goals for this year is to make sure I prioritize the kids school-work. In the rush it's often too easy to let the homework slip. Gymnastics has a homework table and a tutor to help the older gymnasts with their studies. I think this is a great idea.

  2. Thanks sportsmummy - I have to admit that there have been times when I got so caught up in the sports, my work, my blog, etc that I would forget to do a check in on kids school progress. It is easy to do - especially when your kids are somewhat self-sufficient. Now after becoming a better parent over time - the first question I ask every night when I get home from work is "What HW do you have?" and "Do you need any help?" And no matter how tired I am - I lend a helping hand if my kids ask. Love the HW table idea.

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