Michael Lewis

Classroom, the Most Important “C”

by Michael Lewis November 15, 2008 in Men’s Soccer


There is little doubt that the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has several important criteria, which includes classroom work, community involvement and of course, competition.

None should be taken lightly and all should be given proper consideration by the committee when selecting this year’s winners in various sports in the men’s and women’s categories.

Saying that, this writer puts one of the criteria—classroom—slightly above the rest.

Every nominee or candidate is an excellent athlete and an exceptional soccer player. And that will suit them just fine during this college soccer career, and if they are good and fortunate enough, perhaps in a professional career.

But playing a sport won’t be the only possible professional career the candidates or any other athlete will have. And what they do in the classroom could very well set them up after college or after soccer. An education follows you around forever.

A job is something you should not fall back on whether you’re 25-, 30- or 35-years-old. It should be a career, something that you enjoy at some level and something that you can earn a living at.

And without being too preachy, that begins in the classroom.

Actually, any good habits should have started and acquired years ago in middle school or high school, where student-athletes set themselves up for college. Once you have these habits—good ones—down (studying, doing homework, following through on reading assignments, etc. etc.), the rest of the education process should fall into place and mean less anxiety on quizzes and tests. And oh yes, reading the material isn’t good enough. You have to attend class as well.

While getting straight A’s is not essential for a college degree or diploma, it certainly helps. It helps the ego, self-esteem and perhaps getting a scholarship or two along the way that can defray expenses. And, it will make one’s parents very happy and proud that their money isn’t going to waste. Besides, if a student/athlete has any aspirations of going to graduate school, an excellent report card grades will make life easier in getting into a school or program, which can be quite competitive, especially when it comes to law and medical degrees.

And about scholarships. They certainly will go a long way to relieving stress or having a job through your college years or starting your new life after college with a sizable student loan.

There are no secrets here.

Now, that’s not to forget about what you do on the field and how you help your community with service.

It’s a balancing act, especially when you are in school, when you have class, your sport, personal relationships and perhaps a job to pay for expenses. It is not an easy task to accomplish. But if a student-athlete gets into some good habits early on, the rest should easy—or at least easier.

As a member of the media, I know that I am going to put a heavy emphasis on classroom when I cast my ballot for the 2008-2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.