I have a 14 yr old athlete whos grades are slipping and would like advice from other Moms

Brandi - posted on 02/05/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a wonderful 14yr old son who has always been a good student (A's B's & occasional C) and a wonderful athlete but lately has let his grades slip. I have been very supportive toward him in regards to his sports. I am a single Mom and have a tight budget so a scholarship to college would be a blessing. My friends are telling me to make him give up the sports until his grades are all up to A's and B's. I understand their point but don't want him to give up sports fearing he will not return to them or will lose some of the talent he has aquired. Any advice would be appreciated......

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/06/2013

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Kristi C. Hit it on the head.

I'll add that colleges look at the whole picture, scholarship wise. Grades are important, extracurriculars like sports or music, and volunteer hours, leadership activities, etc. Gently start reminding him of those things as he sets his college goals.

Kristi - posted on 02/06/2013

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My daughter is almost 14 and she is usually doing 2 sports at a time. Her grades have started to suffer a little. So, I talked to a few of my neighbors who have older kids that went through this. They advised not to take away sports unless of course their grades drop below the school's required academic standard. Sports are good for their self confidence, social skills, physical and mental health, gives them a sense of belonging, etc.

Start by taking things away. Not everything at once. Just let him know, I'm taking away TV Sun-Thrs for 2 weeks, if your grades haven't improved, then I will take free time on the computer for 2 weeks in addition to no TV. (for example)

I also make my daughter go in before school when teachers offer extra help. I am really lucky because our school district has a website so I can see all of Grace's assignments, due dates, grades, etc every day. If I think she is really struggling with something as opposed to slacking off, I will email her teacher(s) or go in and talk to them to get their feedback and set up an action plan.

I am a single mom, too. My finances suck ass, as well. Don't give up on the scholarship. My neighbor's son got offers from 2 schools, they weren't full rides and they weren't Division 1 schools but they were good schools and every bit helps. He played Lacross and had about a 3.5 gpa in high school. My friend's daughter, basically the same thing but she had quite a few leadership awards and volunteering and her's was for volleyball. A teacher I know told me her daughter got offered a scholarship to play softball even though she was a track runner in high school because they had the scholarship available in that sport and not enough applicants and since she applied to that school and was a strong athlete, they offered it to her because (quoting the teacher) "they can teach her how to play catch! lol" My daughter started volunteering about a year and a half ago. Just once or twice a month for a few hours on a Sat morning but we're trying to think and plan ahead like you.

I hope your son is able to get his grades up quickly and easily. Good luck!

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Ramona - posted on 02/05/2013

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We had this as well with our 14 year old athlete. First talk to him. Realistically, he is not going to get a sports scholarship, there are not that many to go around. But, good grades AND sports and other activities will get a scholarship. Talk to him about what he thinks will help him get back on track. My own ds decided to cut video gaming out during the week and keep it to weekend only. It works better if he is included in the solution as opposed to you coming down hard on him. We did tell ds that we will pull him off the team if we needed to do that. Also, his coaches will back you up, so if you need, talk to them.

Lakota - posted on 02/05/2013

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Hi, Brandi. I have two boys who are involved in sports and have been through the same thing. I did take one of them off their team until his grades improved. They did and he played the next year. It was a hard decision, but, grades come first. If you decide to do that, and he loves the sports, he will play again. If you don't want to do that, then take away other things like tv, video games, etc and he can use that time for studying instead until he can show you that his grades are better.

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