Encouraging Student-Athletes' Academic Success


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Student athlete main page.jpg

Overview and Purpose

Welcome to KNILT mini-course Encouraging Student-Athletes' Academic Success. This lesson will be based around motivating students, in particular student athletes. This course is intended for current educators of high schools or universities where an emphasis is placed on athletics rather than academics. Too often student athletes put their athletics before their academics. Student athletes often decide in favor of athletics when there exist conflicts between the demands of athletics and academics. This could be due to pressure from their family, coaches, the community, and often themselves. These students begin to fall behind and sometimes cannot deal with the stress. This course will show participants why these students need to be considered, and how to address this issue. Their mental health, along with the rest of the students, need to be consider when creating a positive and open classroom environment. Student athletes also need to learn the dedication they put into their sport can also be put into the classroom. The purpose of this course is to inform the participants on ways they can motivate students in the classroom, particularly student-athletes.

Assessment of Learner Needs

1. Instructional problem:

The problem being addressed is student athletes in the classroom setting. Student athletes often put their sport first, falling behind in class or losing interest. Injuries and the demand of the sport play a factor on school performance. Often these students begin to feel pressure, and academics are affected negatively. In order to put the emphasis back into academics for the student-athlete, educators must want to address this problem, and understand it.

2. The nature of what is to be learned:

Participants will learn how to better motivate their students, particularly student athletes. This course will teach the participants how to make education a priority for their student athletes. This course will also teach the participants how to address student athletes overcoming an injury in the classroom. Participants will learn the signs of stress and anxiety their students may be experiencing. Participants will learn what drives motivation and how to relate athletic success to academics.

3. About the participants:

Participants are current or future secondary school or college level educators. Particularly participants are part of a school or university whose environment encourages athletic performance before academics. Participants will be those willing to address their students from a sports psychology perspective. The participants should want to take an initiative with the athletes in their classroom. This course is better suited for educators of bigger high schools/secondary schools where athletics affects classroom learning. Participants can also be counselors and advisors that want to see their student-athletes succeed.

4. Instructional content:

The mini-course will be broken down into 3 units. The first unit will address the student athlete. In this unit the mental health of athletes is discussed through and online lecture format. Participants will understand from the student-athletes perspective the additional stress athletics holds. Unit one will also contain video media for additional engagement.The next unit will discuss motivation and what drives students. There will be supplemental questionnaires participants can use in their class if they choose to do so. The last unit discusses how to create an engaging classroom for student athletes, and how to relate athletic success to academic success. The learning objectives are clearly stated in the beginning of each unit. Activities and reflections are within each unit. An interactive environment is created through the mini-course discussion board using padlet.com

5. Mini-course goals:

The main goal of the mini course is for participants to learn how to motivate those student-athletes who put their sport before academics, from a sports psychology perspective. The participants must first understand their student athletes. This will be a continuous theme due to the stigma that these students get preferential treatment in the classroom. Understanding the mental health and stressors for these students is an important part of the lesson. Motivation will also be a continuous theme. In order to understand how to motivate students, motivation itself must be addressed. Creating environments and learning strategies that compliment student athletes will be discussed. This course takes place online. There will be a discussion forum throughout the units to create an engaging environment for participants to discuss different ideas and experiences.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click on the title of the unit to go to its lesson.

Unit 1: Understanding the Student-Athlete

Target Objectives

  • After watching media clips on student athletes and mental health from the student-athletes perspective, participants will recognize the need to address these students.
  • Participants will determine the most appropriate way to address their student-athletes based on stress factors.
  • Participants will engage in an online community discussing and reflecting on their experiences

Unit 2: What is motivation?

Target Objectives

  • Participants will distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of their student athletes through observation and questionnaire investigation.
  • Participants will define Maslow's hierarchy of needs and how the model connects to motivation
  • Participants will define a learner-centered environment and explore it's positive impact on motivation though discussions

Unit 3: Engaging in Academics

Target Objectives

  • Participants will distinguish between "task orientation" and "ego orientation" and how goal setting benefits student athletes in the classroom
  • Through the use of external media, participants will create a virtual academic learning space demonstrating the information they've gathered throughout the course
  • Participants will define the importance of feedback in an engaging classroom setting and the positive impact it holds for the student athlete

Mini-course Wrap-up

Extended Resources

  1. Andersen, M. B., & Williams, J. M. (1988). A model of stress and athletic injury: prediction and prevention. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 10(3), 294-306.
  2. Curtis, T. R. (2006). Encouraging student-athletes’ academic success through task orientation goal-setting. Journal of College & Character, 7:3, 1-5.
  3. Fullerton, C. M. (2010). Stress and anxiety in athletics. United States Sports Academy America's Sports University. Retrieved May 09, 2019 from http://thesportdigest.com/archive/article/stress-and-anxiety-athletics
  4. Green, P. (2015). How to motivate students: a primer for learner-centered teachers. AAPT Studies in Pedagogy 1, 47-60. DOI: 10.5840/aaptstudies20159184.
  5. Logan, K. A. (2015). Student-athlete learning: how learning spaces influence athletic and academic success. Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1038 Retrieved May 09, 2019 from https://digitalcommons.du.edu/etd/1038
  6. Hall, E. E. (2019). The importance of return-to-academic plans and active rehabilitation for mental health in concussion management. SUNY Cortland 2019 Sports Medicine Symposium. Retrieved May 09, 2019 from http://www2.cortland.edu/departments/kinesiology/docs/2019-at-symposium-lectures/The%20Importance%20of%20Concussion%20Management%20on%20Mental%20Health%20-%20Final.pdf
  7. McLeod, S. (2018). Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Simply Psychology. Retrieved May 10, 2019 from https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
  8. Simmons, H. D., Van Rheenen, D., Covington, M. V. (1999). Academic motivation and the student athlete. University of California, Berkeley, 40:2. Retrieved May 09, 2019 from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e28e/9e40992252a591c41328b6a690dff76184de.pdf


https://padlet.com/s_cerniglia6/ETAP623 Discussion Page

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hdSLiHaJz8 What Drives Us?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Znq8i6jc8-U TED talk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdk7pLpbIls TED talk

https://www.med.umich.edu/1info/FHP/practiceguides/depress/phq-9.pdf PHQ-9

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED338122.pdf MSLQ Manual

https://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Motivation/Motivated_Strategies_for_Learning_Questionnaire Complete MSLQ

http://stelar.edc.org/sites/stelar.edc.org/files/MSLQ.pdf MSLQ Short Version

http://storyboardthat.com storyboardthat.com

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