Just wondering what life is like as a college hockey player insofar as actually being a student is concerned? Specifically, I guess, my question is are college hockey players able to really focus on their studies or does hockey take up pretty much all of their time?
Okay, so never mind about whether you or your kid played college hockey. Does anyone have any thoughts on the subject? It seems like most people on this board are pro college hockey vs. CHL. If the kids can't even be real students, it doesn't seem like the difference is so clear. Very few college hockey players at the D-1 level (and none at D-3) are getting full-ride athletic scholarships--you're still going to pay a lot of money even if your kid gets a 2 for 4 at BC or limited financial aid at Williams. So, if the kid can't really be a student, in essence you're still paying for hockey! It is true that a very high percentage of college hockey players graduate with degrees, which are certainly worth something, but if they didn't learn anything, you've got to question how much.
Alternatively, if the kid played in the Q for 2 years after high school, he could go to college afterwards as a full-time student. [Sure, most kids that go major junior don't go to college, but fewer Canadians in general go to 4-year colleges than Americans. Why would hockey players be any different?] Assuming the kid could get into the same school (which is a BIG assumption for most hockey players--but assume the kid is smart and tests well) and could get the same financial aid package at an Ivy or D-3, why not let him get hockey out of his system for 2 years up North and then come back and really focus on his studies?
That's why more than a few kids chose to play club hockey in college. Skate a couple times a week, miss a game if you're too busy, travel when you can and focus on your #1 priority.
My son passed on D-3 opportunities and a year or two of Jr.s to maybe, just maybe get a D-1 spot for club hockey. "Dad I have no idea how I would have time to study if I played real college hockey..."
ACHA Hockey is pretty organized - http://achahockey.org/view/achahockey
Any college sport where they are giving you money, whether a full boat or partial or even no money is extremely demanding. It requires sacrifices that the other students simply do not have to make. I played D1 college football/full boat/4 years, captain senior year and I got my degree. Also have friends and family members and now their kids who have played and coached D1, D2 and D3 college sports. The time involved is not that much different between them for the most part.
The kids who do well in the college environment (especially academically) are typically the ones who have always done well up to that point. If a kid struggled in school but is a great (any sport) player, and is good enough to make it to D1 they will still usually struggle with their academics in college too. They do not suddenly become good students.
However, most schools have counseling programs set up for athletes now in all sports to help them succeed. It's usually just a question of how much that student is willing to put into their academics as opposed to their sports and leisure/party scene. Which for the most part, those habits have already been established long before college comes into play.
Yes, the day is regimented, they pretty much own you every day from Mon - Fri 1pm -7pm or later some days. Game days are all day, and Sunday's are for film work for about 4 hours. Does your kid love that type of work? Is your kid independent? Does he work on his own and ask then you for more when he is done? Does he compete as hard in the classroom as he does on the ice/field? If so, then he will continue to thrive at whatever level his athletic talents take him.
Regardless you need to love the sport you play in order to continue. Not 'like the sport' but love it to the point you can't imagine living without it. In today's world an academic partial scholarship is much, much easier to obtain than an athletic one....no matter how low the kid's I.Q. is. So if the kid doesn't lie-breath the sport he should hit the books.
There is plenty of time to study and be a division 1 college hockey player. The players just need to have focus and have their priorities in order.
Playing college hockey isn't about academics--its about hockey. Otherwise how can you explain kids being so excited to commit to play at such academically mediocre schools? Excluding NU, BU and BC (and they're no Harvard), most of Hockey East schools admit upwards of 60% of their applicants (Maine is over 80%). These schools can't be that rigorous academically or very few of their regular students--let alone hockey players--would graduate. Sure, there are a few exceptions--the Ivies and a few of the other ECAC schools, Michigan, Notre Dame--but generally "hockey schools" are not great academic institutions. Of course, the same can be said about football (Alabama-50%) or basketball (Kentucky-70%) schools. Nobody's pretending those kids are going to school for the academics. Why should hockey be viewed any differently?
Well you're a little loose on what you declare to be a good school and as such you've missed more than a few.
Being a D1 athlete, any sport, male or female, is more valued by future employers than what school or even GPA (within limits). Fact. it shows a proven commitment to excellence and inner drive that takes a lot of the risk out of the hiring process.
Some big companies hire elite athletes over ostensibly more qualified applicants to compete on their Corporate teams.
I have two in college and I have to say your point about kids failing out is a bit off base. In our time it was a real possibility, today the schools do everything to not only keep the kids in but they also push to get them through in 4 years. This is 100% due to all of the college rankings and information flow that is now available. And for parents dropping a couple hundred grand on the 'college experience' these stats are very important in deciding which college to send your kid. My oldest is at a school where 99% return after freshmen year and 87% graduate in four years and no way did my school years ago come close to those #'s.
Total opposite experience. Also played D1 four years at an elite academic school. Hockey was intensive, but because all there was was going to school, socializing and hockey, and not actually working for a living, there was plenty of time to study and do great academically. I remember long road trips all the time where there was ample time to read books and study, and not being preoccupied with partying at every available opportunity, i spent many nights in the libraries or dorm room studying, including weekends. It's about discipline. Some kids have it, others don't. It's not like you're playing hockey and going to team meetings 24/7.