High School & College Athletes: Tips For a Successful Season!

Ryan Allen
M.Ed – Educational & Counseling Psychology

Happy to New Year to all of you!  While in some areas in may certainly not feel like it (such as myself in chilly Wisconsin), the passing of the New Year means that preseason baseball and softball is right around the corner, with the actual season nipping right at its heels.

All the work that you have put in over a long offseason is close to being unveiled and you now have the opportunity to reap the rewards of those countless extra reps put in while nobody was watching.

While there is much to be excited about, there is also much to be aware of that extends well beyond the baseball and softball fields.

Now is the time that is most crucial for players to create a routine regimen, both on the field and in the classroom.


Whether you are a high school or college athlete, your first priority is always your class work. Once the season starts, however, it becomes very difficult to put class work first.

Establishing good habits and effective planning can, and will go a long way to not only ensure a successful academic semester, but will also help limit stress so you can have much better focus in all baseball and softball related activities.

As a former athlete and academic coordinator for a major NCAA Division I baseball program, below are some tips to help make your season more successful so that you perform your best on the field and in the classroom:


  • Set goals for each class – While we want to be process oriented, it is best to take some time before the semester begins to reflect on what you have in front of you and set expectations for what you want to achieve academically, in the same way you would do for your baseball/softball season. Setting the bar at a high, yet realistic mark can help set the tone for maintaining focus over what can be a long, and at times overwhelming, semester.


  • Time management is key – Make sure you are completing assignments when they’re due by maintaining a reliable schedule that works best for you. Whether it be a weekly calendar, checklist, or even setting reminders in your phone, it is important to be sure and have something to always reference so that nothing is overlooked.  It will only get more difficult to balance as the semester progresses, so put yourself in a good position for success immediately to establish those habits before your time becomes more and more full.


  • Communicate – Whether it be with your instructors, tutors, academic advisors, fellow classmates etc., initiating communication early and often will be helpful in keeping all who are invested in your success be on the same page so that they can better assist you as needed.


  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! It can understandably be a little intimidating and/or embarrassing at times to admit to a lack of understanding to certain material.  But, those who are involved in your academic pursuits want to see you succeed, and more often than not, are more than willing to help. There is no reason an instructor will be upset with you showing a sincere interest and effort in making improvements in the course.  Just be sure that you are sincere in your questions and also ready to accept feedback, and at times criticism, that can keep you moving forward.


Taking care of business now will put you in good position to start the season and continuing to be disciplined and focused will help you through the ups & downs during the season.  Hopefully this will provide you with a few tips that can allow you to have a successful Spring semester, not just on the field, but off of it as well.  Set expectations, develop a plan that works for you, and then be diligent in sticking to it.

Good luck to you!


About Ryan Allen

NCAA Division I Pitcher - University of Missouri - 2006-2009

NCAA Division II Pitcher - University of Central Missouri - 2010

M.Ed. - Educational & Counseling Psychology - University of Missouri - 2013

BS - Business Administration - University of Missouri - 2011

Academic Adviser - University of Missouri Athletic Department - 2014-present

Internship - Academic Adviser - University of Missouri Football 2013-2014

Internship - NACDA - National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics - 2013

Graduate Assistant - Recruiting & Education - University of Missouri Compliance Department - 2011-2013.

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