Soccer player in blue and white uniform with the number 2 on the back kicks ball

4 Things Student-Athletes Should Do This Summer

Welp, another school year is basically in the can, and it's time for student-athletes to start thinking about how they're going to spend summer break.

Another school year is basically in the can, and it's time for student-athletes to start thinking about how they're going to spend summer break. For all of you student-athletes without a summer job to look forward to (LOL), or for those with some extra free time, I've got you covered. Here are a few ways to keep busy, have fun, and maybe make a little money while staying involved with the sport(s) you love. (In between those workouts you better be doing, of course!)

Use this handy guide to see the top benefits and costs of each summer activity. Just keep in mind that these options vary a lot in their benefits, costs, locations, etc. make sure you do your research to find summer options that fit your needs (as an athlete and otherwise).


✔=Okay          ✔✔=Good      ✔✔✔=Great

$=Okay           $$=Good        $$$=Great

X=Most likely not available

Go to athletic summer camps

There are so many summer camps for athletes out there where you can hone your skills while improving your endurance levels. Sports camps can range from the elite, where you have to be invited to attend, to more casual local programs, perhaps coached by college or high school athletes looking to help the next generation of possible teammates. Alternatively, if you are a regular summer sports camper and have been going to the same place for the past few years, see if they need any interns, coaches, or other supporting personnel roles filled. You never know what might be available, and camps looking for new hires are often more apt to choose someone they know over someone they don’t. You can even head off to a more traditional summer camp and get involved in many different types of outdoor activities (tug-o-war, anyone?!), which can also help with your strength and endurance conditioning. 

  • Athletic and/or college résumé:  ✔✔✔
  • Conditioning: ✔✔✔
  • Time commitment: ✔✔✔
  • Community service: X
  • Money (payment, scholarship, etc.): X

Related: Get Your Game on at Summer Sports Camp

Serve as a referee

Grab your whistle, sunscreen, and snazziest black-and-white-striped shirt. Refereeing is a great experience for any athlete, because it exposes you to life on the other side of the line, so to speak, and you'll get a top-level understanding of your sport. (Plus, you might gain a little more appreciation for the refs who always seem to be making poor calls!) Whether you have a summer job already or are still on the hunt, refereeing is the perfect way to keep busy on the weekends and potentially make some extra cash. If you’re an expert in your sport and know your community needs people to referee children’s games, this might be the perfect job or volunteer opportunity for you. And really, what is cuter than those six-year-old soccer players just learning the game?

  • Athletic and/or college résumé: ✔✔✔
  • Conditioning: ✔
  • Time commitment: ✔✔
  • Community service: ✔✔
  • Money (payment, scholarship, etc.): $$

Coach local teams

There is nothing like working with younger athletes. You really get to play an important role in building their foundation in their sport through your guidance, encouragement, and skill-building as a coach. Not only that, coaching is a great addition to either your athletic or career résumé. It shows dedication to the sport and demonstrates community service, which colleges and universities definitely love to see. Sometimes, towns pay coaches for their time, but in most cases, you’ll find the real reward is in being showered with love and admiration (and maybe Gatorade) from your younger players.

  • Athletic and/or college résumé: ✔✔✔
  • Conditioning: 
  • Time commitment: 
  • Community service: ✔✔✔
  • Money (payment, scholarship, etc.): $

Get an internship or job (ideally sports-related!)

You probably knew this one was coming, but it's here for a reason: one of the best things you can put on your résumé is real-world experience. If you are commited to going the athletics route, there are a multitude of workplaces you could give a try: your local sports complex, baseball stadiums (pro or amateur), hockey rinks, hospitals (great if you’re interested in athletic training/sports medicine), law firms that focus on athletics, local businesses that are involved with representing athletes, and more. Alternatively, think about what you see yourself doing in the future for a profession and seek out related jobs. If you’re not sure, the typical summer supermarket/retail path always works and provides a steady paycheck. 

  • Athletic and/or college résumé: ✔✔✔
  • Conditioning: X
  • Time commitment: ✔✔✔
  • Community service: X
  • Money (payment, scholarship, etc.): $$$

Related: Summer Jobs, Internships, and Volunteering

Regardless of the path you choose, you can’t go wrong—it just depends on your situation and specific needs. Whether you want to earn money, bulk up your résumé, or get in better shape before the fall, there are definitely ways to check off all of your needs and have a fun summer while you’re doing it.

For more advice and information on making the most of your sports career in college, check our our College Athletics section. 

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athlete athletics college athlete college athletics high school athlete summer planning

About Megan Gibbs

Megan Gibbs

Megan Gibbs is the Director CollegeXpress. She has worked for Carnegie, CollegeXpress's parent company, since graduating from Merrimack College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. Megan is the glue that keeps CollegeXpress together and the push that keeps us moving forward.


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