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Poor High School Grades for an Athlete

Hockeynut2Hockeynut2 0 replies1 threads New Member
I may be a little ahead of the curve but my son is a sophomore in high school and is getting poor grades. The high school is a good school that gives the student many opportunities to improve their grades for the quarter. He is currently ineligible to play for his hockey team that is a D 1 team. I am at wits end and can see this may be a problem in the near future. We are currently focusing on his classroom studies versus his hockey but I do not want him to shut down completely. He will be eligible com 2nd quarter but may only play the remainder of the season 6 games. His academic performance is going to hurt his athletic performance in the near future. Maybe this is a little pre mature but I want to get a handle on this and if it continues what are his college options that will accommodate his academics and athletics. Any ideas
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Replies to: Poor High School Grades for an Athlete

  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 469 replies1 threads Member
    edited November 20
    As a last resort, there may be summer school option for credit recovery or to lighten load.
    See NCAA Eligibility Center if you haven't already to see core course requirements, for GPA, test scores.
    There are D3 teams and club teams in college.
    A college hockey coach might recommend a year of junior hockey after high school.
    Reaching out to college coaches starting in January of sophomore year and hearing directly what he needs to do may help him prioritize his studies.
    Kids miss playing due to injuries; missing b/c academics is opportunity to get study habits right and stay physically healthy.
    edited November 20
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  • StPaulDadStPaulDad 469 replies1 threads Member
    It's not clear how good he is or what level he expects to play in college, but you are not breaking new ground here. Since sports were first offered at schools there have been kids more motivated by the games than the classes.

    As mentioned above, keeping the game available is a healthy outlet for burning off frustration and staying excited about that part of his life. Carrots only work if they're real and attainable, so let him skate as long as he continues to work on the books.

    But you do need to get a handle on the academics soon if he's to continue advancing in life. Even if he never skates again or he drops out at 17 he'll benefit from finding out he needed glasses, or a reading class to address his dyslexia, or medication to calm his ADHD or anxiety, or whatever else turns out to be a factor. Dig in and work with professionals to get to the root of it.

    (Side note: if he's really good there are, um, let's call them "less academic" paths available. D1 programs have a staff of folks tasked with keeping players eligible. And there's the junior hockey option where you can complete your high school work in the far less rigorous online world. Large enough talent in athletics can cast enough shadow to make academic deficiencies nearly invisible. Most people don't fall into this category, but if your DS does you may want to examine how square your round-pegged kid needs to be. Just sayin'...)
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  • mom2andmom2and 2929 replies19 threads Senior Member
    This must be very frustrating. Agree that taking away hockey completely may make it worse.

    Did he grades suddenly drop this year or has he always struggled? Is he partying? What does he think - does he care or not? I would try (which is really hard) to not lecture, but bring him in as to possible solutions. Are there learning issues or is he just not focusing on or caring about school work? I would want to explore all the possible causes of this.
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  • murray93murray93 178 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Solidarity. My S22 is a high level athlete and musician. His priorities are socializing during school hours and playing computer games at home, followed by music, sports, and then school. I have talked to all his teachers about ADHD and there isn’t anything there to suggest as such. I’ve talked to other parents and this sadly isn’t unusual for some boys. I believe it has to do with maturity, but in the meantime, they are shutting all kinds of doors for the future. My S does care, or at least says he does, just not enough to change his behavior. We have made some changes to electronics usage as of this week, and met with some teachers, so we’ll see if that has an impact.

    I suggest you meet with his counselor and teachers for the classes he’s failing. And if it helps to know, there REALLY is a path for everyone. I know, though, that it’s tough to see that bar dropping further and further... Good luck to you.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75463 replies3309 threads Senior Member
    There are scholar-athletes in every sport at our high school. And many of them are top varsity athletes...and also are in our concert ensembles.

    It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

    While I agree that the carrot for some kids is their sports involvement, I also agree that there should be an academic standard they need to meet to continue to play.

    In our school, the academic standing requirement was clearly stated to all athletes every year.

    I would try to figure out what your son needs to do to be successful in both his sports and academics.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23369 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Just like the high schools has rules about academics needed to play on the high school team, the NCAA does too, and some schools may have even higher requirements. Many of the hockey schools are top D1 (the Ivies) or D3 schools. People think of hockey as a dumb jock sport but it really isn't. Kids are just 'getting by' at Harvard, Wisconsin, Notre Dame or at the D3 schools (where several of the teams play up to D1 level like at Colorado College and Union).

    I do think you need to attack the academic issues. I bet he is trying hard because he does want to play. Work with his academic counselor. Ask for testing to see if there is a reason like dyslexia, vision, ADHD.
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  • wis75wis75 14156 replies64 threads Senior Member
    Good parenting to look at this now.
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  • HPuck35HPuck35 2018 replies15 threads Senior Member
    College coaches want students who can actually be eligible to play. That means maintaining a minimum GPA in college. College classes are harder than high school. So, your son needs to figure this out if he wants to play at the college level.

    Talk to his high school coach to see if he has any experience with college eligibility requirements.

    Read the NCAA rules.

    See if there is an underlying issue with his academics.

    I played hockey in college at the D3 level. Work hard, play hard seem to be the rule of the day. Playing in college was some of the best times I've had in the sport. If that is his goal, I hope he turns it around and makes it a reality.
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  • eastcoascrazyeastcoascrazy 2544 replies22 threads Senior Member
    Help him get a handle on his life skills and academics now. It only gets harder (both academically and athletically) in college. No problem that you are seeing now will ever magically solve itself when he gets to college. Help him find whatever resources he needs to reach success as an adult. (And by success I’m not referring to athletics, but to life skills, mental health, a post athletics career, a social life....)

    I have three college graduates, one of whom played her sport at a DIII college. Young adults who have successful college experiences (with or without added athletics) are not those who start college with unaddressed high school level issues. (Not necessarily SOLVED issues, but unaddressed issues.)

    If your child is struggling in some areas now, address it now.
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  • 57special57special 618 replies15 threads Member
    I am confused. Your son is a HS So that is currently ineligible to play D1 hockey? Do you mean NCAA D1, or something else?
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