In high school locker rooms, gyms, and classrooms across America, coaches will meet with athletes and their parents to kick off what hopes to be a winning season, a league championship, a playoff birth, or even a state title.  When all expectations and requirements of a player are laid out, there is always one topic that is stressed and reiterated.  Grades.  In most high school districts, you must have at least a 2.0 grade average to be eligible to play.  You may be a super star on the field, but if you can’t perform in the classroom, you won’t be playing in the game.


“The anticipation of finishing the season 10 – 0 and going onto the playoffs was super exciting to all of us.  The boys had worked their butts off all season and it had come down to the final game against our school rival.  As the crowd started to gather in the stands, you could hear a buzz as our team took the sideline.  To our horror, two of the super stars on our team were wearing jeans with their jerseys instead of pads and helmets.  Word got around that they had just received a progress report and were ineligible to play.  Their lack of effort in the classroom not only jeopardized their own playing time, but effected the whole team, the coaches, and every fan who was watching.”


Unfortunately, this type of sinario takes place every week in high schools across America.  It may not be a playoff game, but an individual’s actions, or lack of action with regards to their school work effects not only themselves, but the whole team.  So, when you’re at home choosing between another game of Call of Duty on the XBox or doing that homework, think about the consequences for your teammates.


Not only do grades effect your high school career, but good grades are vital to your chances of being recruited and playing college sports. College coaches love to recruit student-athletes who not only excel on the field, but off the field as well.  Physical talent and skill is a big part of the equation, but coaches are looking for the “entire package” in the athletes they bring to their team.  College coaches don’t want to take chances with borderline student-athletes because their program can and will be penalized for their athletes’ poor performance in the classroom.


Most athletic scholarships are not “full ride.”  Coaches have a limited number of scholarships to offer prospective recruits.  This is where your grades really count.  Many times, one of the first thing a coach will do is to see if the athlete qualifies for some other form of financial aid.  If you can qualify for an academic scholarship then that money does not go against the athletic budget the coach has to work with.  You can see why this would be so attractive to coaches.


If you want to play in a NCAA Division I or II school, the higher your grades, the better.  SAT and/or ACT scores are important.  Depending on the institution, you will need to meet one or more of the following criteria to qualify for an academic scholarship.

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