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Making the jump from high school student-athlete to college
Posted at 10:15 AM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 12:38:58-05

BOISE, IDAHO — A few months ago, we told you about the blood, sweat, and tears that going into making the jump for high school athletes to the collegiate level. But for those athletes, all the early workouts, game-film study, and extra lift sessions could mean nothing if your grades aren't up to par.

"Things are significantly more stressful for student-athletes just because we know so much more," said former athlete Lori Reinke.

Parents, just because your son or daughter might be an incredible athlete, that definitely doesn't guarantee them a scholarship or acceptance in general to a college to continue their athletic career.

"I think it's super important that students, from the time they get into ninth grade, don't lose the opportunity to take the right courses. By that I mean the approved NCAA courses," said Independent School Counselor Rebecca M. Carroll.

And of course, once you're enrolled in those classes, take them seriously.

"The magic number for a coach is a 3.85 on a 4.0 scale," said Carroll.

But just when you think there's enough on your academic plate, throw in SAT and ACT scores.

"The ACT score, most parents tell me I just woke up one Saturday and went and went and did it. I don't even remember what my score was. That kind of thing, it wasn't that huge like it is now. But colleges, everything is just getting more and more competitive, especially with the athletics," said Huntington Learning Center Owner Jennifer Hovey.

Correct courses, high grades, high test scores, AND dealing with a modern dilemma that past athletes never had to think about.

"Just the pressures with social media and seeing, being able to see all that's out there and having those athletes compare themselves to what other people are doing," said Reinke.

One Treasure Valley Athlete who is now playing soccer at Carroll College in Montana says that his parents let him know that if he wanted to be a collegiate athlete, he would need to get serious early.

"I didn't have a step by step layout for what classes I needed to take besides what I knew I needed to take to graduate. But I always knew that I should push myself to take higher-level courses and try to take honors courses or college-level courses whenever I could. So as a freshman, I tried to take honors classes and as I got to my junior and senior year, I was taking concurrent credit classes, so college course classes," said Carroll College Soccer Player Kaden Connor.

Best advice for parents and student-athletes? Plan early and plan hard with a counselors and a solid support group.

"I've found that most students when you show them, and you guide them and you encourage them and help them through the hard processes, then they step up to the plate. I have found athletes to be extremely disciplined, and when you say here's what you need to do and here's why, and let's lay this out in a timeline that's not gonna impact your schedule, but we might need to met two or three or four times a week for a couple weeks in a row before your season, they have done it. They have all done it," said Carroll.

All that planning, preparation, and sacrifice could help you or your student do what Kaden is doing, going to college with a few scholarships while sticking with soccer.

"It's an advantage and a disadvantage but now I've come out of that as like, I'm getting an education for not as much money as a lot of people. And still playing the game I love," said Connor.

If you feel like you or your student-athlete might need a little more help in the educational planning process, you can check out the Huntington Learning Center in Boise or check out this YouTube channel.