In our last series of articles, we discussed the act of bullying and how it affected the student.
We also reviewed how parents we could intervene in a positive, but effective way. This week, I would like to focus on the subject of balancing academics and athletics.
As a young student, this can sometimes be a daunting task.
There are so many choices these days and so little time to try and figure out how to make it all fit.
Every week many students get into their uniforms and take to the field or court to try and make their school proud.
As fans, we attend these sporting events. But when they games are over, we retire to our homes for the remainder of the day. But our local student athletes head home to an evening's worth of homework.
How do student athletes find the time to complete their daily homework assignments?
Parents and teachers often ask the same questions.
The unfortunate truth is that there are many students who struggle with their academics during their athletic season. I am a firm believer that academics MUST come before athletics and as parents, coaches, teachers and school administrators we MUST assure that this statement holds true.
Athletics have many great attributes and manifest many great results. The act of teamwork and discipline is a big part of the athletic programs in our area.
So what do we do to help our student athletes achieve academic success? The process starts by reinforcing the importance of academics and its rewards. We can't say this enough to our children.
If grades are an issue, then students should be receiving supplemental instruction to give them some relief. Study halls can be used as an excellent time to seek out additional assistance, as well.
When traveling to away games, student athletes should be working on schoolwork while traveling to and from the game. If it is at night, they can use a flashlight or portable nightlight to see their work while riding on the team bus.
Every free moment of a student athlete's life should be accounted for and room should be made for academics.
As parents, we need to keep asking to see agenda books and planners. If we know what assignments are due and what our children are working on, then we can manage their work more effectively. Don't be left in the dark with your child's schoolwork.
Coaches need to make routine checks on their player's academic success. Student athletes should be rewarded for outstanding academic excellence. It sets a great example for their teammates.
If a player's schoolwork has become too much, then there may be times that the student has to miss practice.
Let's be honest in saying that the chances of making a living out of a sport is slim to none for most student athletes, therefore academics becomes the "ticket" to a young person's future. If both are encouraged properly, then the best of both worlds can become a reality.
Athletics can be a very positive and rewarding experience for many young students, but for some it also can become a time management struggle with their academics.
Athletics and academics should never become a competition. It is very possible for a student athlete to prosper in both simultaneously. The key is how we as parents, coaches and teachers manage the pair together.
In the next article, I will discuss some critical tips and techniques in the SAT world.
Cordell is the owner of Excell Tutoring Services, 346 Broad St., Montoursville. He may be reached at 506-9998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.