Especially now, this is so relevant as these kids lives have been shaken up. Their routine, social, sporting and school life was completely turned upside down as they knew it.
The online homeschooling setup during lockdown was tough for the majority of kids & especially young athletes. Athletes learn best in a kinaesthetic (learn best by doing) or visual (learn by seeing) learning environment.
Very few athletes learn best from an auditorial environment (hearing and listening) which is the primary learning style taught in schools and most online programs.
School matters, especially if you want to play college sports and there are two sides to the coin.
Yes, you need to be a great athlete to get recruited and recognized as a potential fit for a top athletic & academic college program…. As important as it is to excel on the field, you'd be amazed to know that the golden question that always comes first is “What’s his/her grades like?”
Recruiters want to know if they’re about to go down a rabbit hole and all the work it takes in recruiting a player only to find they closed the door on themselves years before by not applying themselves at school.
Honestly, it’s sad to see and I’m sure something they’ll regret for the rest of their lives as it’s the same formula for success they use daily on the field they can also use daily in the classroom.
I believe this comes back to redefine what they really want.
If the answer is, “I want to play college or professional sports”. Ok, to do so grades are going to come into play so let’s go to work academically.
Where are your weaknesses? What are your strengths? Who are you surrounding yourself with? The exact same questions you should ask yourself in any other arena in your life you want to take to the next level
If you take a step back and look from above, what you’ll start to recognize are the principles that lead to certain results. If you want an outstanding result there is going to be certain principles and habits that lead to this. If you’re getting sub-par or amazing results, if you step back you will generally see why.
Couple of months ago I had a great conversation with a kid. He’s such a good kid with a huge heart and a really talented baseball player.
The report card came in for the year and oh boy cats out of the bag. Not matching up with the standard his family and he is willing to accept and if it continues unfortunately not going to get him to his ultimate goal of playing at the highest level.
So now comes the hard cold truth. Do you accept where you are and own it or do you fight the reality which is only going to keep you there longer?
We must accept it and own it, only then can you use the pain and start to make a change, like anything else we can use it as leverage.
Raise your standards!
It comes back to what you’re willing to tolerate, what’s the future you’re creating for yourself, this goes for every area in your life. Think about it, the level of success you’re having in a particular area in your life is a direct correlation with what you’re willing to tolerate.
This can be a pretty confronting statement for most and usually, we run to the “But I’m doing the best I can”…
Is this completely true? Be honest with yourself… There’s always something else we could be doing or trying something different. Move, pivot, evolve do whatever is needed until it aligns.
Back to grades, college and sports.
As we train, run or warm-up, I’ll chat with the kids about how things are going away from the field and at school. By asking questions, generally, they figure it out and design the plan to overcome any challenges they’re going through themselves.
I can’t tell them what to do and sorry Mum and Dad as I’m sure you’ve figured this out as well, the more we come down on them or tell them what to do, the more we get the opposite result, more resistance.
You have to discover the WHY behind it.
School may not be the most exciting thing for a lot of kids but it’s the ones who can see the gateway school could potentially open that can find the resilience, grit and obsession needed to keep going.
At school, you may have been pigeonholed as the kid who’s disruptive, unteachable, not willing to listen. This may or may not be true, either way it’s where you’re at in your teacher's eyes and an issue in getting you to where you need to go.
We need to take the high road. Go up to your teachers in private and own it! I apologize for my behaviour and what's happened previously. I want to change and need your help to hold me accountable. If your teacher or coach doesn’t know you’re willing to change or want more for yourself then how are they supposed to help you.
You may have struggled with the online learning, you may not understand and simply shut off, you may be hanging with the wrong kids both at school and in the classroom. There could be endless things going on but we need to bring them to the surface and start chipping away to change your result.
The social group is a lot harder than it sounds to make the required change if needed. These friends may have been in your life for a long time and they won’t see eye to eye why you’re changing.
Use your teacher to help you, if Johnny, the badass usually saves you a seat next to him but deep down you know this isn’t the right person to be hanging with, you’ve got a tough decision to make. You need to start surrounding yourself with different friends and people with similar goals
Your teacher can help you, but only if they know you need help. If you don’t trust yourself speaking up to your mates as you walk into class, your teacher can simply help move you to the other side of the room. Easy, entire new trajectory and space you’ve created for yourself by simply having a conversation.
I say it all the time and it’s one of my favourite quotes and principles in every arena of our lives.
“You show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”
Step up and be the best you today!! This goes for in the classroom as well