(WHTM) — For many Midstate students, the new school year is just around the corner, if they have not started already. How can these students and their families make sure they’re ready to succeed in and out of the classroom?

High school teacher and basketball coach Gerald Jarmon has spent many years working with young people.
He said it is important to start the school year off well.

Get daily news, weather, breaking news and alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here

“I think this is the most crucial time of year,” Jarmon said. “Kids are going from summer, freelance, do what you want, get up at 12.”

Jarmon said the beginning of the school year is a transition.

“You gotta start changing some things to get ready for the school year,” he said.

Jarmon has spent years working with young people, particularly student athletes.

Get severe weather alerts with newsletters and push alerts from the abc27 Weather Team!

“I was once them and I know the importance of having a coach or a mentor or trainer,” he said.

However, as an emotional support teacher, he hopes his advice can help any student heading into a new year.

“I enjoy the process of seeing them grow and mature,” he said.

Jarmon’s philosophy for success centers around what he calls “the three P’s.” The first is preparation.

“You got to be prepared, mentally, physically,” he said.

The second is practice.

“You gotta put time in, you gotta study hard,” Jarmon said.

Finally, passion.

“Passion will push you to do the extra,” he said.

Jarmon is still pushing those three things to his students, but he said it has been especially difficult for kids in the last two and a half years because of the pandemic.

“It caused them to kind of go in a shell,” he said.

He has seen kids struggling socially.

“Their phone is always attached to their hips,” he said.

Jarmon has some advice for parents as they head into the new year: Make sure kids have scheduled time away from technology and push them to get involved with things outside of school.

Get traffic alerts from the abc27 mobile app for the latest local delays and road closures

“I would encourage parents to really keep them involved in activities, in clubs, after school program,” he said.

Whether a sports team or a club, Jarmon said these groups teach kids important skills and can set them up to succeed.

“Teamwork, respecting authority, overcoming adversity, being committed to something. Those are all things that prepare you for life,” he said.

Jarmon said he hopes these tips help parents, families and their kids have a successful school year.