How To Be A College Athlete

 EARLY ENROLLMENT – A Mother’s Perspective

Mary Wegzyn, Author: Be A College Athlete: The Play By Play Guide

12 January 2016 (Original Post Date)

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Early enrollment is becoming more and more popular in college athletics. Early enrollment means a senior in high school graduates one semester early and is able to be on the university campus and start college classes in January of what should be the second semester of a student athlete’s senior year.

Coaches love early enrollment because it gets student-athletes on campus six to eight months sooner than if the student-athlete went through the process of high school graduation in May or June. When a student-athlete arrives on campus in January, coaches have more time to teach the student-athlete the systems/plays, have the strength and conditioning staff “work their magic” on the young student-athletes, and potentially get the student-athlete competing earlier in their college career. This is especially true for fall sports.

Student-athletes often think early enrollment is great because they can move onto campus and have freedoms most 17 or 18 years dream about. They can live on their own, come and go as they please, have no curfew, and make their own decisions. While that is mostly true, the student-athlete still will answer to a coach and all class attendance and other behaviors will be monitored.

As a mom, especially a “football mom”, early enrollment is not so enticing. The thought of a 23 or 24-year-old fifth-year senior lining up across the line of scrimmage from my 17 or 18-year-old baby in practice is downright scary! There is nothing about that match-up that is going to end well for my student-athlete. The older athlete is physically more mature which usually means bigger, faster, stronger, not to mention more experienced and has a better knowledge of the playbook and system. My athlete should be getting ready to go to prom and the fifth year senior may have a wife and kids!

Prior to making a decision to enroll early, be sure to consider what the high school student-athlete is giving up and what there is to gain. For some, it is the right choice, but in this mom’s opinion, it isn’t always a good thing!

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