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Should I quit doing an elite sport to focus on paid internships and academic opportunities? Is this a better look for college?

I am in 10th grade and I have been committed to this sport since I was seven years old.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Taylor’s Answer

Hello Samantha, that's an excellent question. I had the opportunity to participate in a D1 sport during my college years, which significantly aided me financially as well. Every summer, I was fortunate to have paid internships, while still being able to train for my sport. If this is a path you're considering and have a passion for, I wholeheartedly recommend it! At the very least, it provided me with valuable life skills such as efficient time management (which is applicable in everyday life and across all career fields), the ability to prioritize tasks, and effective networking skills. If you're upfront with your internship about your sporting commitments, most are willing to be flexible with shortened summer periods or working hours.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello there, Samantha!

Let's chat about the wonders of Career Technical Training Programs, shall we?

Career Technical Training (CTT) programs, also known as vocational or technical education, are like a golden ticket to a successful career in a specific industry. These programs are designed to equip you with the essential skills and knowledge you'll need to shine in your chosen field.

You'll find these programs offered by a variety of organizations, from Job Corps to community colleges and technical schools. They typically span from a few months to two years and cover a wide array of subjects. Here's a sneak peek into what you can expect:

1. Technical skills: Fancy being a welder, a plumber, or a computer programmer? CTT programs will teach you the necessary technical skills through hands-on training and real-life experience.
2. Soft skills: But it's not just about the technical stuff. You'll also learn valuable soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, which are key to standing out in the job market.
3. Industry-specific knowledge: Get ready to dive deep into your chosen industry. You'll learn about the latest trends, best practices, and cutting-edge technologies.

So, what's in it for you? Here are some perks of CTT programs:

- Boosted employability: With your new technical and soft skills, you'll be a hot commodity in the job market.
- Higher earning potential: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that folks with technical training or certifications often earn more than those without.
- Career advancement: Ready to climb the career ladder? CTT programs can give you the boost you need, equipping you with the skills and knowledge to take on senior roles or transition to new industries.

Don't just take my word for it. Here are three authoritative references that back up these claims:

1. "The Value of Career and Technical Education" by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (2017) - A report that underscores the benefits of CTT programs.
2. "The Effects of Career and Technical Education on Earnings" by the National Bureau of Economic Research (2018) - A study that reveals CTT programs can significantly boost earnings, especially for those from low-income backgrounds.
3. "Career and Technical Education: A Review of the Literature" by the Education Policy Institute (2019) - A literature review that shows how CTT programs can improve employability, earning potential, and career advancement across various industries.

In a nutshell, Career Technical Training programs are a fantastic tool to prepare you for a successful career in your chosen industry. They offer a mix of technical and soft skills, deep industry knowledge, and the potential for increased employability, higher earnings, and career advancement.

Wishing you all the best and God bless you richly!
James.
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Ollie’s Answer

Hi Samantha, I'm going to answer your question as a mother and as a guidance counselor. Not knowing what is your elite sport, I had 2 sons who were ranked in New England's USTA Boys' Category. They had started playing tennis in late elementary/early middle school & got pretty good. They were standouts on their high school tennis team. As a guidance counselor, it's helpful to share with you that there are several athletic scholarship opportunities that can boost your admission standing with colleges, as well. Your application can look attractive to colleges on either front. Do not forfeit anything that you are passionate about. Research schools that have your specific sport & offer scholarships. Collegiate athletic programs know of the commitment & dedication required to excel in a sport. You can have the best of both worlds!
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Atul’s Answer

Since you've been enjoying this sport from the tender age of 7, it seems a shame to give it up for a paid internship. Are you a tennis player who often sweeps the board in games and competes in varsity championships? Or perhaps you're a golfer who frequents various golf courses, consistently scoring at or below par? If this sounds like you, you might be able to land a sports scholarship that could fully cover your tuition.

On the other hand, if you're more of a casual player who participates for the sheer love of the game, you might want to consider exploring paid internships and saving your sports fun for the weekends.

Remember, whether it's the NBA, NFL, or any other sports league, less than 2% of college athletes make it to the professional level. The opportunities provided by a solid academic foundation, on the other hand, can last a lifetime.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Atul! Samantha
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Ross’s Answer

Samantha, you ask a very good question. I recently retired after a 44 year career in collegiate athletics. I’m a firm believer in the discipline, fellowship and character that athletics builds. Athletes have deal with the ups and downs of competition. That helps them prepare better for life in my opinion. I’ve had a number of athletes that have used that discipline to become physicians, business leaders, etc.
you can find the balance between athletic activities and academics.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for giving me advice. Samantha
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