Five years ago, I was just starting my freshman year at a university in New England. It is a college known for its football program, and I had earned both a place on the team and an athletic scholarship. I was on top of the world. At my school, football players are treated like royalty. Eventually, all of the praise and attention got to my head. I assumed that the rules didn't apply to me. I would get behind on assignments, and then ask for extensions and second chances; I used having to practice and out of town games as an excuse. The truth is, I mostly fell behind because I was hanging out with my friends and going to parties. Finally, I encountered a professor who had had enough of my nonsense. He told me that there would be no more special treatment for me. I had a research paper due, and it had better be turned in by the due date or I would receive a zero. I couldn't afford a zero. It would drop my grade to a D, and I would no longer be eligible. In a moment of self-pity, I called my brother for sympathy. I didn't get sympathy. I received a stern lecture about behaving like a privileged jerk, and some advice on taking responsibility for my own school work. My brother's advice helped me so much, that I want to pass it on to other student athletes.
Studying is a Commitment
Sports are great. However, it is very important for all student athletes to remember three things. One, they are in college to get an education. Two, one accident, on or off field, can end a college athletic career in an instant. Third, athletes who reach the pros without having a solid education behind them are often taken advantage of by unscrupulous managers and others. This is why athletes need education as much as they need time on the field and working out. So, don't use athletics as an excuse; don't use games as an excuse; definitely never use parties as an excuse. Buckle down every single day and study. It will be worth it in the end.
Find a Mentor
This was probably the best piece of advice my brother gave me that day. He told me to find somebody I could emulate as both a student and an athlete. My mentor was a guy on the team who was a junior. He didn't have a scholarship. In fact, he was a walk-on. He rarely played in games, but he worked harder than most first stringers in practices. I also noticed that he never came to the after game parties. I found out that this was because he was also studying Aerospace Engineering, and spent most of his free time studying. I struck up a friendship with him, and we spent a lot of time together. It was nice to have someone to back me up, when a lot of the other guys were pushing me to party instead of study.
Get Help Before it's Too Late
Remember that research paper? My brother told me to find an essay writing service and read this http://alltopreviews.com/tips, so that I wouldn't mess up both school and football. It cost me a little bit of money, but my brother called that “paying the piper.” It was definitely worth saving my grade and learning a lesson.