Duane Voigt, Stanford University’s academic director for student athletes, explains the importance of getting it done in the classroom.
STACK: What are some mistakes you see high school students make concerning academics?
Duane Voigt: Too many young athletes have one goal in sight—that’s to make it professionally or to just think about their athletic performance and ignore the academic side of [things].
STACK: Is there one key for succeeding in the classroom?
DV: Athletes tend to have a personality that, “I’m going to be successful and I can’t admit to my failures.” You have to be willing to ask for help, because the harder it is to ask for help, the harder it’s going to be in your classes.
STACK: What academic advice can you give high school student-athletes?
DV: The sooner a student-athlete makes the decision that he or she wants to be in college and wants to perform at the level that they’re capable of, and the sooner they make that decision to take on their academics and to change their philosophy or their attitude in terms of what they want out of life, the better. If you challenge yourself on the soccer field or on the basketball court, you challenge yourself every day to become better. If you can take that and put that into your mind academically as far as your school goes, you’re going to make it.