How to Excel Academically as a College Soccer Athlete

January 19, 2012
by Justin

Welcome to The Golden Boot, a sport-specific training resource provided to you by ScoutMe for Soccer Recruits. The first article was Shoe Science for Soccer and the second was about the myth of the high school offseason. The third article was about the importance of sleep for student athletes/soccer recruits and this week will go into how to excel academically as a college soccer athlete.


With the APR or Academic Progress Rate raising from 900 to 930, maintaining eligibility for postseason play has become even more important to NCAA officials, coaches, and student-athletes alike. Your soccer team will have to dismiss players who cause the team to lose their eligibility even if they are stars. As this new rule is put into action in the fall of 2012, you will need to focus even more on academics. If you are like how I was my senior year (even my junior year), you are suffering from a deadly case of senioritis. The last thing you want to come into college with is any remnants of that psychological disorder. There is no need to worry though; the @HempsteadHuddle has got you covered. Here are a few tips I have found to be effective in not only maintaining but also thriving in my college courses.


Schedule Planning

One of the great things about being a college soccer athlete is that you pick your classes before everyone else. The reason is because your practice is usually in the afternoon and most coaches schedule study hall for each college soccer athlete afterwards. Personally, my defensive coordinator sat with my academic advisor and me and picked through all of my courses. One of the great things about getting classes early is setting up your schedule to your liking. I set up my classes for Tuesday and Thursday so that I can have five days off during the week. If you read my last article you should already know how important sleep is for you as a college soccer athlete, so setting up a great schedule is imperative.


Placement Tests

Some universities will require you as a college soccer athlete to take placement tests to determine what math and English courses you will start with. Some people blow these tests off, but don’t realize that they can place themselves ahead or behind of the curve academically. If you score low on these tests, you will have to take remedial courses that are the equivalent to high school, freshman-level courses. What’s worse is that these courses will not help you towards your graduation as a college soccer athlete, and pretty much set you back a semester depending on how many sections are needed to be completed, before you are at the freshman college level.



Another thing I did with my days off during the school week is go to tutoring. I really wasn’t able to complete everything I needed to in the two-hour mandatory study hall, and I needed a higher-level of assistance when I was major projects of trouble with new math concepts. Before college, the only tutoring you as a future college soccer athlete may attend was for SAT prep, which is usually in a group setting. Once I got over my intellectual pride, I went to tutoring with almost every tutor available tutor, gaining a rapport with specific tutors who grew to understand how I learned. My suggestion is that you as a college soccer athlete should never lean on your own understanding. One thing you must know as a college soccer athlete; your high school understanding of math or English is going to be challenged. Tutoring can take you as a college soccer athlete to the next level.


Good luck with your high school soccer offseason, and make sure that when you step on the soccer field, you leave everything there. Check back for another installment of The Golden Boot. Until then, this has been The Golden Boot, and I am Yorick Hempstead signing off.




Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for ScoutMe. He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.



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