Does anyone really care about Education?
So you got your CHL or NCAA Athletic Scholarship, can you actually get into a school and if you do are you ready to handle the overwhelming workload? Surviving a full time academic work load along with a full time playing career is easier said then done!
This is the part of the hockey process that continues to amaze me. Everyone strives to ensure that they or their son or daughter gets every opportunity to earn an athletic scholarship, but this intense focus on a single objective often results in them not seeing the forest for the trees. That is they all too often sacrifice needed academic training to focus on athletic development. And this is the sad fact at both the CHL level as well as in any Tier II Junior A league like the BCHL or USHL.
In the hockey world, the truth is that all too often, players, coaches and parents only pay lip-service to the importance of education. At best, a players future education is relegated to a distant second place behind skills development and draft potential. Personally, I was lucky enough to use the opportunity of professional hockey to pay for my Master’s Degree that I earned while playing. The point of my story is that while I didn’t make the NHL, I was one of the lucky top 2-3% who got a chance to play the game I loved while making a buck. I also leveraged that amazing opportunity to see the world and further my education at the same time so that my life after hockey had a solid foundation.
Whether you are playing in the CHL or NCAA, have you actually put any real thought into what you will study or whether you are actually prepared to survive at the university level while playing hockey full time? It isn’t easy.
Let’s look at the CHL / CIS Route
Just because you signed your CHL contract and got your Scholarship money, do you have the grades to get into the university of your choice? It is one thing to be good enough to play somewhere and be wanted by that team, but another entirely too actually meet all of the academic requirements necessary to play with that team and study at that institution.
I think for the most part, people are just lacking in information, as everyone around them, coaches and managers included downplay the grades necessary to get into a top-flight academic institution. You constantly hear, if you are good enough, someone will find a way to get you into the program because they need you to score goals. While that does occur I have had clients with great potential for professional careers derailed because they are not able to continue on in their hockey skills and career development at the university or college level because they left things too late.