HIGH PERFORMING ATHLETES: COMMON CHARACTERISTICS- “HAVE TO”

This week I continue to outline major characteristics of high performing athletes (HPAs). For this week, the  characteristics  is one of those easily identifiable traits. It’s one that is so obvious that it makes other athletes (and often their parents) envious. I would further go on to say that this characteristic is one that can be learned. Its is like a match struck and put to a fire, smoldering then suddenly bursting into flame. 

This week I want to outline a characteristic in high performing athletes that is best described as “want to”. This characteristic is often partnered with words like passion, desire, drive and determination.  HPAs with this characteristic understand that “want to” means willing desire. It’s as if the putting in the work is a privilege and the pain of pushing the limits is actually enjoyable. In contrast, to “want to” is “have to”.  Athletes who “have to” require an amount of compromise and external motivation to put in the work. 

Photo by Ruben Leija on Unsplash

High performing athletes with “want to” are uncompromising. They put in the time for work outs. The do it because they love it, not because coach says to, or because their parents say so.  Instead, HPA’s with “want to”  put in the work because of the passion for the game. Further, they love to compete against others and against their personal personal records.    HPAs with “want to”  don’t have to be dragged out of bed. And they don’t have to rely on motivational hype to get started. No, instead they are self-motivated and self-driven. 

HPA’s with “want to” passion also realize that the externals of the game matter. The externals of the game make a difference so they put in the work in the gym, in training, in practice, outside of practice and in the film room. In their free time, they study the game to improve their sport IQ. With a critical eye, HPAs study themselves looking to evaluate and critique personal preparation, practice and performance. They also pay attention to what they eat, how they sleep, and who they hang out with.  Because HPAs with “want to “ recognizes that all of these things impact passion and performance. 

But as mentioned earlier, the “want to” characteristic can be learn. It is not exclusive only for a small group. No, with encouragement, confidence and focus new habits and routines can be develop that change “have to” athletes into “want to” high performing athletes.

Five ways student-athletes can pay college tuition

Parents and student athletes will be surprised to know that college tuition can be paid in very creative ways. In fact, with the national average of college tuition hovering around $34,000 per year for private colleges and $25,000 for state schools,  there are a number of ways for families to relieve the burden of tuition expenses. So before signing a stack of loans take a look at five ways student-athletes can pay for college tuition.

The average college student graduates nearly $40,000 in student loan debt.
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash
  1. Scholarships – financial awards that do not need to be repaid.  Scholarships are awarded for academics and athletics to aid in offsetting the cost of total tuition.  Most collegiate sports, except for D1 football, commonly offer only partial scholarships. However, outstanding academics, including high gpa and college entry exam scores, coupled with exceptional athletic ability significantly impact the overall cost of college tuition. 
  2. Grants – needs based form of financial assistance that students do not repay. Grants are often awarded by information provided in the FASFA application. The Pell Grant is a good example. Investing a little time researching online students can uncover a number of grants available ranging from a few hundred dollars to a several thousand. 
  3. Loans – Federal student loans allow students to borrow money towards tuition. However, strings are attached, in that borrowed money must be repaid with interest. Federal student loans are determined as “needs-based” and fulfilled at subsidized or in some special circumstances interest free. In contrast, other loans are unsubsidized meaning they accrue interest. Parents of a dependent student can also apply for federal loan called the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). According to the US Student Loan Debt Statistics graduating college students leave with just under $40,000 in student loan debt. 
  4. Campus work study– student employment is a way to earn income and gain work experience. Federal work study is determined by student information and needs determined from the FAFSA application. Campus work study is great way for the college student to earn spending cash or to use to offset a student loan. 
  5. Military education benefit- commonly referred to as the GI Bill, Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit of up to $45,000 eligible to active members after service members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses for members. 

The purpose of a college education is to help prepare students for successful careers. Hopefully, these five tips will help students afford a great education and save them a ton of money along the way. 

Be Committed,Coach Mike

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.