The number one thing to remember for your son or daughter when they go to school as a student-athlete is that their behavior and academics are in a 'fish bowl'. This means that everyone is watching and at the same time, athletes are held to a higher standard of ethics and behavior than the average university or college student.
It is imperative that your child understands their role on campus. When you score a big goal everyone knows about it and it is awesome. When you make a bad decision, everyone knows and it sucks.
When a student-athlete finds himself or herself struggling with behavior and academics, they will often get punished more than once for the same mistake. They risk getting in trouble from the school and also from the hockey team. This can be activity on campus, off campus, and even online (Facebook).
Often, this results in probation with the school and loss of playing time with the hockey team. Depending on the infraction, potential issues with law enforcement can lead to more problems for your child.
You will also risk losing your scholarship.
As a student you will invariably experience new things and come across countless situations where good judgment is required. Many times alcohol and drugs can play a key factor in poor judgment. As a student-athlete you must understand that you are held to a higher standard and also have more to lose than the average student.
Being aware of the demands that are placed on the student-athlete when they are away from the rink can help your son or daughter be more prepared for their college experience and constantly think about how their behavior and academics will affect them.
In terms of academics, your child must stay in good academic standing. In Division I athletics there is an Academic Progress Rate that must be upheld, whereas in Division III, each school may have different standards to not only remain in school, but to be eligible to play sports.
Find out what resources are available to your child to keep on track academically. Many teams have mandatory study hall, academic advisors, and a learning center available for their athletes.
Each year, many student-athletes find their dream of playing College athletics cut short due to any number of potential pitfalls.