By Jake Chapman, Showcase U Co-founder
The Academic Scholarship
Unless you live under a rock, I imagine that you are hearing a pretty consistent message from your teachers, coaches and counselors, about the importance of academics throughout your high school and college careers. We hear it all the time that the best opportunity to get recruited is in the classroom
. Let's face it, some of us are going to struggle with our studies, and others of us may find things a bit easier. But what should be present - in either case - is an honest effort, a true commitment, and a willingness to seek help if needed. Also, it must begin the first day you step foot in high school.
Let's discuss some of the reasons why academics should be your number one priority.
1. College coaches will love you.
The moment you pop up on a program's radar, you are compared to the other "blips" on the screen. By bringing a strong academic resume to the game, your stock instantly rises in the recruiting market. If the athletic skills are equal between you and another player, your academic accomplishments will most likely be the determining factor for a coach as to whether you are the one recruited or not. The coach might be thinking....
* You will be more likely to receive academic scholarship money
* You increase the team GPA and graduation rate while always remaining eligible for games.
* Most importantly, you have demonstrated that you are responsible, committed to excellence, and have the makeup of a winner.
2. Scholarship money that sticks.
Speaking from personal experience, I received a 50% academic scholarship in college. As a walk-on, I entered the world of collegiate athletics with some piece of mind knowing that, whether I made the team or not, my college education was already discounted. It couldn't be taken away if things didn't work out on the field. That can't be said for non-guaranteed athletic scholarship recipients. (Yes, you can lose your athletic scholarship for a multitude of reasons.)
3. Scholarship money that motivates.
In most instances, if you are a recipient of an academic scholarship, you will be required to maintain a minimum GPA. For example, I was awarded a 50% academic scholarship and was required to keep a cumulative GPA of 3.60. At first, this seemed quite daunting to me as a student. I quickly learned that this served as a wonderful motivator for me to keep pushing and to ask for help if needed. Free tutoring programs are offered at most institutions, so whether you are carrying a 2.0 or a 3.0...take advantage of the assistance and get that GPA up!
4. Scholarship money that pays off.
As your college playing career comes to a close, the next chapter in your life is entering the workforce. Due to very busy training/practice regimens and demanding schedules, many college athletes don't have time to get jobs. So without significant working experience, college student-athletes must rely on their academic accomplishments. Employers want intelligent workers, with a high aptitude for learning, and a proven track-record of results in the classroom. To be able to graduate with honors while playing intercollegiate athletics is just another way to separate yourself from your competition.
This topic deserves much greater coverage and discussion than just the few points I shared today. As Showcase U
grows as a company, we plan to revisit it in much greater depth. But for now, I will leave you with this trailing thought....
"An academic scholarship opened the door for me the get a great education at Saint Joseph's College (IN)....which then led to an opportunity to walk on and ride the bench for 2 yrs at a division II baseball program....which later led to some playing time and a Conference championship.....which was followed the next year by a DII College World Series finale, GTE Academic All-American Honors, the 1996 MLB draft and an 8 year professional baseball career."
The "other" college scholarship changed my life. Allow it to change yours.