USA Hockey Magazine

September 2017

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k Students often ask, "When do I start planning for college?" Some wait until their junior year when they take their ACT & SAT standardized tests. Some students believe it will all fall in to place when they begin to apply to schools in the fall of their senior year. Whether you are in third grade or seventh grade, if your goal is to play college hockey now is the time to prepare, both on and off the ice, to achieve that goal. If one of your goals is to play hockey at the collegiate level, know that the process includes relentless effort in the weight room, at practice and during games. You need to work hard, give 110 percent effort, and maintain a positive attitude while being an unselfish teammate. All of these things will help you to move to the collegiate level. Whether you play club, DI, DII or DIII, dedication and determination is essential. MAKING THE GRADE In keeping with the dedication to training, you have to make the grade. Playing hockey at the next level requires you to achieve in the classroom. For younger players, stick with a basic academic plan – be on time, complete your assign- ments, challenge yourself, be prepared, participate, and study. Developing good aca- demic habits at an early age will only help as you progress through school. WHAT IS EXPECTED As young hockey players reach middle school, they need to familiarize themselves with the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA is a "membership driven organization dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of student-athletes and equipping them with the skills to succeed on the playing field, in the class- room and throughout life." The NCAA guides more than 1,300 conferences, colleges and universities and stipulates the academic requirements that must be met by student-ath- letes that aspire to participate in collegiate athletics. It is import- ant to know what is expected before you start high school as your clock starts ticking to make the eligibility requirements in grade 9. WHAT'S REQUIRED There are 16 NCAA approved core courses in the following content areas: • 4 years of English • 3 years of math (Algebra I and higher) • 2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if available) • 1 year additional English, math or science • 2 years of social science • 4 years additional core courses – English, math, sci- ence, social science, world lan- guage or approved philosophy/ comparative religion • Ten core courses must be completed prior to the start of the senior year in high school, Seven of those must be in English, math and science • The core GPA must be at least a 2.30 • ACT/SAT scores must match the core course sliding GPA for DI requirements. DIII hockey has different requirements TEST TAKING Completion of the standardized tests can also become a hurdle for student-athletes. Sometimes players will take tests three or four times before they earn the score that they need to meet NCAA requirements. The good news is there are a wide variety of online test prep programs, programs offered through public libraries, and a wide range of test prep and tutoring centers that will meet with students in small groups or in one-on-one settings. It is wise to invest the time to achieve the scores that you need for eligibility. DO YOUR RESEARCH Finally, it is important to note that the NCAA establishes the minimum eligibility requirements. Once a student-athlete begins to look at colleges and plan for admissions, it is important to research the school admission requirements as those tend to be much higher than the NCAA's. Again, with hard work, comes success. – Lisa Vollmers On-Ice Success Is Only Part Of The Equation To Play At The Collegiate Level SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR COLLEGE SEPTEMBER 2017 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM // 25 THE DREAM TO PLAY COLLEGE HOCKEY EXTENDS FAR BEYOND THE ICE SURFACE. IT'S IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS IN THE CLASSROOM AS WELL.

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