Don’t blow it

So, you’re a school kid who kicks the ball harder than an angry horse. You run like the wind and you can outplay everybody your age. You dream of a ticket out of here, an athletic scholarship to an overseas university and then it’s off to the pros so you can buy your mother a big house.

Reality check. It’s not that easy. Far more talent goes down the drain each year than ends up on the playing fields of universities.

Contrary to popular belief, universities do not give scholarships to the best athletes regardless of academic credentials and abilities. OK, maybe some schools do in some sports. But most universities have standards and actually follow them. What this means for you is that a recruiter will judge you not only by how many goals you created out of thin air or how many rebounds you snatched from the sky, but also by how you scored on the SAT, how your high school transcript looks under a microscope, and how much trouble you did or did not get into.

No college coach wants to give a valuable scholarship to a kid who will flunk out 10 minutes after he or she hits campus. It’s a waste of time for everyone.

Good grades and a clean record enhance what you do on the field. A high SAT score and glowing comments from former teachers make you a better prospect. It’s as simple as that. Caymanian football player Shekeina Bush (adjacent article) is right on target with her warning about believing that physical talent will carry you all the way. She is living proof. She worked hard in the classroom and it made her a prospect worth investing in. You can do it too. But only if you approach homework and tests with as much or more intensity and commitment as you bring to training and games.

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