Many student athletes naturally struggle to complete coursework while traveling because of hectic, demanding schedules. There are many techniques and opportunities that help student athletes meet their program’s study requirements.
Take Advantage of Student Resources
Most schools offer special resources and policy exceptions for student athletes. Schools usually provide information fairs that introduce student athletes to clubs and organizations that may help. They may also provide information booths that provide helpful resources. Colleges with strong student-athletic programs may offer unique academic services, such as exclusive access to libraries, study halls and departmental facilities. Student athletes who spend a short amount of time on their campus will have limited familiarity of the school. Becoming familiar with the school will help students successfully complete coursework.
Communicate with Faculty
Student athletes who are always on the road will struggle to communicate with professors. Even with regular students, frequent contact with professors outside the classroom is difficult because of busy schedules and demanding duties. If possible, student athletes should attempt to meet with staff or faculty during designated office hours. Bear in mind that students who attend regular classes will have opportunities to get involved in non-classroom activities, such as eating together in the cafeteria, engaging in activities at the rec center or interacting with others in the student center. These informal student-faculty interactions have a positive effect on academic performance and intellectual development. Therefore, student athletes should regularly email or phone their professors in order to establish a positive, respectful relationship.
The night before student athletes leave for an away game, they should organize notes, quizzes and reading assignments. This will allow them to leave behind unnecessary materials while traveling. It will also help them access what they need while traveling on the bus or waiting in transition. It is a good idea to create flash cards or write notes before boarding the bus because traveling will negative impact hand writing. At night, buses will be dark, so it makes sense to invest in an inexpensive headlamp. Student athletes will most likely be taking similar classes, so it’s wise to form a study group that can talk while on the bus or meet in the hotel. A laptop with a fully charged battery is necessary, but must be properly managed through productive study goals.
The Benefits of Online Schooling
Many student athletes prefer distance education to meet their academic needs. Online classes are flexible, so they accommodates a rigorous training schedule. Online students are able to adapt their academic schedules around their sports and training obligations. Student athletes can access and study lessons while on the bus or in the hotel room with only a laptop. Ideally, athlete students will be able to connect with staff or faculty while they are online in order to receive real-time instruction and feedback. When it comes to colleges with successful athletic teams, faculty will be more flexible with helping student athletes while they are traveling. Being able to arrange learning activities around competing and conditioning will help athlete students plan adequate time for sleep, socializing and relaxation.
There are both traditional and technologically innovative ways for athlete students to complete coursework while traveling. To learn more, visit the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) website.
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