Relationships Among Academic and Athletic Motivation and Mental, Physical, and Academic Outcomes in Collegiate Athletes
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As of 2015, there were approximately 480,000 collegiate athletes in the United States. Among these students, a scant few are drafted as a professional within their respective sports. For example, only 1.6% of students are drafted into the NFL, and 1.1% and 0.9% of male and female students enter the NBA and WNBA, respectively (NCAA.org, 2016). As there is a very negligible likelihood of becoming and making one’s living as a professional athlete, it is critically important that students who attend university as athletes earn a degree to have a career that will serve them for the rest of life after school. Organizations such as the NCAA make it clear and evident that most collegiate athletes will not become professionals, so athletes know that in order to get the most out of their college experience they will need to excel academically and not just athletically. Entering college is a stressful time for all students, which can lead to declines in physical and mental health as well as increased substance use (Pritchard & Yamnitz, 2007). College athletes have more demands to manage than the general college population, as there are the demands of being a full time college student as well as a full time athlete.