Extracurriculars for the Student Athlete

While being an outstanding athlete can give you a leg up in the college admissions process, it is still a good idea to boost your resume with other activities, so colleges can see the ways you might contribute off the field as well as on it. If you are a high school athlete, you know that sports require a lot of time and energy, so you will need to find extracurricular and service activities that are meaningful but don’t compete too much with your sports and team commitments.

Depending on how interested in and committed you are to your sport or sports in general, you may decide to focus on activities that relate to athletics or branch out into different areas. You should also keep your other interests and future goals in mind when thinking about what you might want to do. If you are an athlete and would like to participate in activities that are relevant to sports, you have a number of options. For starters, there are many careers related to sports that don’t involve actually playing the sport, and there may be ways to prepare for these careers as a high school student.

For instance, if you are considering a career in sports medicine, you might look into volunteering opportunities at hospitals or clinics. Trying approaching medical professionals in your community to see if they know anyone who might be able to help you out. Some colleges also have sports medicine classes where you can learn about and practice sports medicine on student athletes. While hands-on opportunities might be limited for teenagers in this area, any ways to volunteer or shadow professionals will help you gain knowledge and experience, as well as show admissions committees how serious you are about the field.

Another career you might want to think about is sports journalism. Try reaching out to local newspapers to see if they have internships or other writing opportunities for students. You may even end up with a paying internship, or you could also contribute to the sports section of your school newspaper. Try approaching the editor or faculty advisor to float ideas for sports features or columns. If you are interested in the business end of athletics, sports management and marketing are two other routes you might consider. Try looking for internships with relevant companies, or ask adults (your parents, friends’ parents, teachers, etc.) if they know of anyone who might have connections in the field. You might also think about starting your own opportunity, like starting your own blog about sports. Think about your skills and how you might combine them with your passion for sports and be creative.

Are there teams for younger children or people with special needs in your community? Look into opportunities for helping out. Perhaps you could coach a team or be a referee. There might also be other teams or games that could use your support through teaching, fundraising, or other means. Participating could also provide you with leadership opportunities, which are very important to admissions committees. Is there a sports trainer at your school or gym who could use some help? Ask if you might be able to contribute in some way, or even just observe. If you swim, you could look into lifeguarding. This could either be a volunteer or paid opportunity, depending on the pool, beach, or club. Also consider working at a sports supply or gear store.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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