I had a female athlete tell me the other day that she was told “if you play multiple sports you can’t have a good GPA.”
I remember thinking to myself, “what a slap in the face! Who are you to limit my greatness, who are you to attempt to undermine my standards of excellence not only in the classroom, but when I put that jersey on my back?”
I shouldn’t blame those who seek to perpetuate this stereotype that athletes have been plagued with for years. It has almost been accepted as a fact of life.
Time for Change: Change the Image
The time for change arrived as more and more scholar/athletes began to refute the “dumb jock” image that had been seemingly ingrained in them by those only
desirous of exploiting their talent. It is a new day! “Keep sleeping on me and I will continue to wake you up.”
No more should we allow ourselves to be limited to another’s assessment of our self-worth, which has contributed to many failing to excel in their chosen sport, and worse, failing at life in general.
If scholar/athletes succumb to the opinions of those who claim to have their best
interests at heart, then they deny themselves glorious opportunities that being scholarly and athletic can afford them.
“I’ll sit in my house and reach for the ceiling. Sit outside and reach for
the sky. Reach for the stars in the night sky and when you think I’ve stopped reaching, I’ll be sitting on top of those stars seeking to achieve greater.” Never stop reaching for greatness.
Same Old Story
How many times have you heard the story that “I was great when I was in school, but I couldn’t go to college because I didn’t get my grades, or I didn’t go pro because I got injured.” Each time the underlying theme is really education.
“If I had gotten my grades, I would have made it to college. I would have had something to fall back on if injured. I thought I reached the clouds, but plummeted back to earth because I didn’t do what it took to go higher. With that education, I could have reached the stars and when the pros didn’t come calling that setback would have still facilitated my greatest comeback because my education would allow me to fall onto the clouds.”
Beyond the Classroom and Field
Speaking with the modern day scholar athlete you come to the realization that being a scholar athlete does not end in the classroom nor at practice.
The behind the scenes process is what helps them maintain and exceed the standards they placed upon themselves; late nights studying for the next day’s exam, hours in the library between class and practice, all in effort train the mind and body to push through fatigue and push the bar of greatness established for him/herself on a daily basis to rise higher and higher.
“I’m tired but this extra hour of study will all be worth it when I walk across the stage on graduation day. Even more so when you’ve checked another box off your life goals and you can look back realizing that graduating was a huge step you needed to be where you are, when you decided that sleep could wait. That missed nap was worth it!
Dedication, focus, mental toughness, and determination are just a few words that describe the scholar athlete so well. Let’s not forget the ability to motivate self.
While some students decide studying for this test isn’t that important, often after practice has you more exhausted than youever thought possible, you tell yourself “I need to finish this homework, I need to complete this assignment ahead of time.’
Finishing 2 or 3 assignments before their due date just to have the chance to catch up on rest is a sacrifice you have to make. No one ever said being great was going to be easy. Admittedly, it’s often easier to settle for good or average, but what do you gain by lowering your expectations?
Someone once said that in order to be successful, “you have to want it as much as you want to breathe.”
Your example of persevering and pushing through will serve others well. Whether you realize it or not, someone is watching your example, so it will serve you well to not live your life in a vacuum.
As you succeed, you are positioning yourself to be a beacon for others desiring to achieve success. This thing is much bigger than you.
Ultimately, your child and others, will look up to you saying “I want to be like you”, so lay the foundation for them to follow in the footsteps of greatness you’ve set before them. Take advantage of tutors, read more to train the mind to absorb the information you need to make that A+ on that exam.
You can always be on time, if you do things ahead of time. Your potential as a scholar athlete is limitless. Let no one, absolutely no one, determine how great you can and will become.
Every day is another day to be greater than you were before.
Written by Perry Robinson, CEO Athletic Scholars Brand for College Athlete Insight.