We recently published a report outlining the findings of a survey we conducted earlier this year (you can download the full report for free here). This blog post is part of a series I’m writing to break down the survey results a little further (you can read the first post here).

The 2018 Student-Athlete Life After Sport Report examines the transition away from competitive athletics from a student-athlete’s perspective.

The goal was to identify gaps in the current set of resources and support that student-athletes receive from their university (and more specifically, their athletics department).

Among other topics, we explored how student-athletes go about selecting a major during their freshman or sophomore year.

We wanted to learn what kind of support they receive when deciding on an area of study and whether or not they were able to align it with their own strength and interests.

Let’s walk through some of the survey findings.

How Selecting a Major Impacts Success in School and Beyond

For student-athletes, selecting the right major puts them in a better position to succeed during their time in university and beyond.

Studies have shown that aligning one’s true interests and strengths to their major and career points to academic and professional success. But choosing the optimal major is easier said than done.

As bright-eyed freshmen, most student-athletes lack the self awareness and experience needed to select the right major on their own.

It’s a decision that requires outside guidance, planning and research.

Results From Our 2018 Student-Athlete Life After Sport Report

Nearly half of student-athlete respondents (48.9 percent) reported that they selected their major by doing research on their own—without outside guidance from parents, counselors or assessment instruments.

27.5 percent changed their major at least once, and 4 out of 10 respondents (41.9 percent) reported that, in retrospect, they would have studied a different major.

Nearly 1 in 5 student-athletes reported that their major only “somewhat aligned” or “did not at all align” with their interests and strengths.

What does this mean?

The results of this survey highlight a gap in the support and resources that student-athletes receive during their freshman and sophomore year.

That is, many student-athletes aren’t taking advantage of current resources given the rigorous demands on their time—or more likely, their athletics department isn’t offering the necessary resources to help their athletes select the right major.

As a result, many are selecting an area of study that doesn’t align with their interests and strengths—forcing them to change their major (which can be a costly in terms of time and money), or worse, regret their decision indefinitely.

The Solution

The time demands that student-athletes face are very real, which means they rarely have extra hours in the day to spend meeting with counselors/advisors or attending in-person workshops.

Online assessment instruments are an excellent alternative to in-person resources—and are a proven tool for helping student-athletes develop self awareness and an understanding of their personality traits.

At Game Plan, we help athletics organizations support their athletes by giving them access to our proprietary assessment, the Athlete Interest Inventory, that maps their interests and strengths to the optimal major—putting them in a position for academic and professional success. The Athlete Interest Inventory is a proven tool taken by tens of thousands of athletes.

In addition to these assessments, Game Plan gives athletics organizations an online platform to build their own virtual network of alumni and other mentors—helping them support their student-athletes as they progress through their journey and make decisions related to their education and professional aspirations.

To learn more about these and other solutions we offer to athletics organizations, we’d like to invite you to request a demo using this link.

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