Molding a talented athlete into a great athlete takes a combination of success not only athletically but in academics and personal responsibility. An athlete not prepared to make the grades required to stay on the team is a wasted talent. Likewise, an athlete with no sense of personal responsibility to the coach, teammates, school, or community lessens their potential for success.
Many parents of talented young athletes focus on athletic success, and everything else is secondary. It’s often overlooked how the athlete will successfully progress through high school on athletic talent alone, and what opportunities might pass them because of grades or reputation.
It gets even more complicated when looking at colleges and universities because now, there are many more athletes with equal or greater athletic talents.
So, how does a college decide when looking at your student-athlete?
They dig deeper and look at his/her grades and personal behavior.
- What is the athlete’s GPA?
- What is reflected in the athlete’s social media?
- What community service is the athlete involved in?
The answer to these questions often speak to the potential success of an athlete throughout their career. The higher the risk of failure of an athlete, the lower an athlete is on the comparison and scholarship lists of colleges and universities.
The popularity of athletically-focused schools, such as Parisi Academy, is just beginning to emerge. These schools – some independent and others associated with an existing school – are similar to charter schools, but focused on athletes.
Many coaches agree that the ages of 11-14 years are the most formative years for athletes, both physically and mentally. These coaches often assess young athletes and realize that while they have natural talent, their potential can be maximized at a school that specializes in athletics, but has an equal emphasis placed on academics and personal development. This enhancement year can be an athlete’s actual 7th or 8th grade year, or a re-class year where the athlete voluntarily repeats the 8th-grade year to mature more physically or mentally before entering high school.
So what do you look for as a parent considering an athletically-focused enhancement year?
We recommend that you first look for the athletic trinity:
- core athletic training to instill good habits and injury reduction
- academics that set a strong foundation for high school success
- emphasis on personal responsibility and awareness
These three powerful elements which we refer to as the “trinity of success” are critical to providing a valuable year for your student-athlete and more importantly, setting him or her up for high school success.
To help you drill down on the trinity when evaluating, we have provided the list of questions below to ask as you evaluate athletically-focused enhancement schools:
Does the athletic enhancement program:
- Provide training for core fitness, including speed and strength training AND education?
- Guarantee a ratio of 1 coach to a maximum of 12 student-athletes?
- Build in evaluations to show progress or need for focused improvement?
- Provide education, instruction and training on injury prevention and proper nutrition?
- Offer a minimum of four days of training per week?
- Address academic weaknesses of individual student-athletes?
- Provide opportunities for additional help and one-on-one time with teachers?
- Challenge student-athletes to think and improve their current academic standing?
- Teach student-athletes to study and work independently?
- Provide group experiences and projects that teach leadership skills and teamwork?
- Expose the student-athlete to the world around them, including personal responsibilities and community service opportunities?
- Open up a world beyond school by exposing them to different careers and life opportunities?
- Teach and reinforce personal responsibilities at home, to family and friends?
- Prepare a student-athlete for the next step by helping them understand their talents, interact with respect and confidence, discover and know their own personal brand and how to live up to it?
These questions help you evaluate a program and ensure that the enhancement experience you choose for your student-athlete is the best possible. After all, if you are going to the expense and effort of an athletic enhancement year, it should be the most effective and helpful year possible.
The Parisi Academy meets the criteria for the trinity of success and more. Our 30+ years training young athletes in sports performance is unmatched. In the 5 years our school has been offering an 8th grade enhancement program, we have made sure our academics and personal responsibility curriculum is equal to our training. We invite you to tour our school and training facility or have your student-athlete spend a day at the Parisi Academy to get the full experience. Contact us or call us at 201-677-8450 for more information.