The primary purpose of the current study was to give “voice” to college athletes regarding their views on academics. Given their perspectives, means of promoting their academic achievement were suggested. Research describing athletes’ experiences and the impact of socio-emotional stressors on academic success, especially for those not at a Division I school, is needed. Therefore, a qualitative study exploring the academic experiences of college athletes was conducted. Twelve focus groups of college athletes (N = 62) from six teams were held. Results revealed that college athletes are motivated to achieve by external factors and see grades as an external evaluation of performance. Athletes communicate with one another about grades, but this is generally limited to specific assignments rather than semester-long evaluations. Reaching out to academic support staff early in one’s career was reported as helpful, and academic performance could be improved with better communication with professors and more time management skills. The findings provide tools to develop more effective and tailored support programs for college athletes.



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License