Why Hire a Student-Athlete?

Currently there is a lot of buzz in the world of collegiate athletics.  A recent study was published discrediting the “Dumb Jock” stereotype.  This study, University Learning Outcomes Assessment (http://www.measuringbehaviors.com/#!prettyPhoto), was completed by two professors from Indiana State University and compared regular students to the student-athlete population.

The findings brought forth the results that student-athletes, in comparison with the regular student population, learn and grow faster during their collegiate experience…not by a little, but by twice the rate.

In the study, seven factors were analyzed: critical thinking, self-awareness, communication, diversity, citizenship, membership, leadership, and relationship building.  These factors are related to skills believed to be needed to succeed after college and in a career.

Interestingly enough, many individuals could not believe these findings.  The public could not understand how student-athletes could actually be performing better than students that are at college to simply study.

What do student-athletes learn during their collegiate years by participating on and off the court?

  • Respect…to their teammates, coaching staff, fans, etc.
  • Discipline…to get up for early morning workouts, before 8am classes even begin
  • Determination…to succeed physically, academically, emotionally
  • Commitment…to their sport, themselves, their team, and their school
  • Resilience…to succeed regardless of injuries, deadlines, and even failed performances
  • Not to mention…Dealing with Adversity, Time Management, Communication…

There is a commercial that is sponsored by the NCAA and played during collegiate events…especially right now during March Madness.  At the end it always states, “there are about 400,000 NCAA student-athletes…just about all of us will be going pro in something other than sports.”

The findings from the UniLOA study, combined with this statement, would make me hopeful as an employer.  Student-athletes represent a portion of the labor force that will make any organization successful…regardless of the economic times.

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