It has been a few years since the NCAA changed the academic requirements for first year student-athletes. To be eligible to play ball for D1 schools, you will need at least a 2.3 GPA in your core courses and also meet minimums on standardized test scores. Keep in mind the 2.3 GPA is a minimum; many coaches will be looking for players with higher GPAs. That means you can waste all your hard work on the field if you don’t keep your grades up in high school. Good grades and test scores are also a great way to earn scholarship money and reduce the costs of attending college. Since school is starting again, we’re re-posting some advice from the last few years to help you get organized.
As a student and an athlete, you don’t have time to waste. Take the time now to get yourself organized before school, practice, travel, and games become overwhelming. Getting organized is easier than you think. Most of what you need can be handled by establishing 3 basic habits.
- Keep things in the same place.
When you make it a routine to put things back in the same place (homework, school supplies, gear, books, etc.) you will not believe how much time you’ll save. If you’re not the neatest guy at home, set up boxes in your room and use a marker to label what you’ll put in them. At least you won’t have to look through your whole room for stuff. Keep homework assignments on your desk, or if you don’t have a desk, in a large envelope that is tacked to the wall. It only takes an extra minute to put things in the same place versus 20-30 minutes to find things that are buried. And you know, things always get lost when you don’t have time to find them.
2. Use a calendar.
No one can remember all the assignments, appointments, practices, workouts, games, birthdays, and parties that a high school athlete has to deal with. These days, you might have a calendar on your phone but if not, you can use a paper planner or online calendar. If you have to wait to put things in your calendar (no calendar on your phone), keep a small pad of paper and a pen in your backpack or gear bag to use when you first get dates and times that you need to write down. Make it a habit to put those notes into your calendar every day. College athletes have to manage their time (sometimes to the minute), so get started now.
3. Everyday, look a week ahead.
Knowing where things are and having deadlines and appointments written down are important steps in getting organized and saving time. But you have to use this information to really make it work. Just like you look ahead to your next game and opponent, you need to look at what you will need to get done in the next 7 days. In high school, many students do things at the last minute, but with so much to do, you can’t do that. Make it a habit every day to look over all of the things you need to take care of and make a plan for how to get it done. With 7 days, you can set aside time to finish up assignments, get in extra batting practice, and make it to the movies with friends.
Getting and keeping organized will pay off with less stress, better grades, and more free time. Also, college coaches and scouts are looking for guys who can deal with a high pressure environment, athletically and academically. Be the guy who shows up on time, with everything you need, all the time. Be the guy that college coaches are looking for.
Want more information on balancing academics and baseball? Read advice from current and former college players who are used to the balancing act at the college level here.