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20 Secrets to Success for NCAA Student-Athletes Who Will Not Go Pro

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Balancing a sport and academics make student-athletes ideally suited for satisfying careers elsewhere. 
Ohio University Sport Management Series

20 Secrets to Success for NCAA Student-Athletes Who Won’t Go Pro (Ohio University Sport Management Series) Paperback – January 2, 2018
by Rick Burton  (Author),‎ Jake Hirshman (Author),‎ Norm O’Reilly  (Author),‎ & 5 more
To order on Amazon site click here



The vast majority of student-athletes dreaming of athletic stardom won’t make it to the pros. Yet, the discipline and skills they’ve developed while balancing a sport and academics make them ideally suited for satisfying careers elsewhere. 

In 20 Secrets to Success for NCAA Student-Athletes Who Won’t Go Pro, the authors draw on personal experience, interviews, expert opinion, and industry data to provide a game plan for student-athletes through key transitions at each stage of their careers, from high school through college and beyond. 

Modeled on Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this book provides a much-needed strategy for achieving career success. Readable and concise, it will be a valuable tool for students, parents, and sports administrators. The purpose of this book is to inform, educate, and prepare student-athletes for their college experience across their 4- years in school and into their professional endeavors. It easy to read and concise in delivery with a focus on the typical student-athlete.

Richard Burton, Jake Hirshman, Norm O’Reilly, Andy Dolich, Heather Lawrence



Introduction – Part I – Succeeding as a Student-Athlete

1. "Create and follow your Student-Athlete Plan”

2. "Understand who a student-athlete is”

3. "Ride your Success Wheel”

4. "Acquire Life Skills You Need to Succeed”

5. "Be Balanced in Everything”

6. "Make Smart Decisions on the other stuff”

7. "Seek Support Everywhere”

8. "Your Major Really Matters”

9. "Take Nothing For Granted at Any Moment”

10. "Manage your Highs and Lows”

PART II – The Transition 

11. "Face Reality in Sports and Life”

12. "Mentally Move On as a Senior"

13. "Identify Who You Are”

14. "Find Your Other Passions in Life"

15. "Prepare starting your sophomore year"

16. "Invest in Yourself, Your Health, and Your Future"

17. "Activate your student-athlete advantage"

18. "Create Your Brand"

19. "Be Fiscally Smart"

20. "Prepare for the Future"





Mark Emmert, NCAA President

"This guide book amplifies the paths to success which college sports provides. The broad perspectives shared throughout the book demonstrate the perfect understanding of how important it is for student-athletes to give their talents to their sport and focus to academics."


Foreword by Oliver Luck - Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at NCAA

"In this book, you will read about how being a student-athlete teaches you how to overcome your mistakes with a professional attitude and outlook. Instead of wallowing in my mistake, I sought advice and fixed it before any real damage was done. Being a student-athlete gives you the skillset to manage and prioritize time demands and like most student-athletes, you will go pro in something other than sport."


Afterword by Pat O’Conner - President of Minor League Baseball

"Transitioning from athlete to former athlete involves more than having your uniform taken away from you.  The very nature of your life will be altered at some level. It is an exciting new beginning in your life and nothing more detrimental than a rite of passage to maturity as a person.  With a couple of caveats, successful transition is incumbent on you making smart decisions and committing to this new path with the same zeal and intensity with which you competed as an athlete."

Jim Thompson - Founder and CEO, Positive Coaching Alliance

"Although this book is for college athletes who won’t go pro, even pro athletes will find, at the end of their professional sports career (which often happens very quickly), that they can benefit from the practical tools and advice in this book.  It is filled with insights and is an easy read.  I recommend it!"

 Debbie Yow - Director of Athletics - North Carolina State University

"Every student athlete and their mentors should read this book, without question. It brings into focus both the challenges and the opportunities inherent in being a collegiate athlete. Most importantly, it outlines a plenary framework for how to successfully navigate the landscape and develop an outstanding life plan."

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