The web site, The Athletes Village, has many insights worthy of reading.
See the hub page and “up-score” the replies posted by Coach Mark Rauterkus:
What advice would you give college athletes who are coming to the U.S. from other countries.
Talk to your coaches often. Build a relationship with them. Ask for advice on other matters beyond the sport.
Get your books early. They are expensive. Pre-read the text books. Study in advance on the classes you’ll be taking.
Get your tutoring options understood early, far in advance of the tests and assignments. Generally there are great tutors who work with the athletic departments. Meet with them. Use them. Ask for extra insights. Share your class syllabus with the tutors and seek their wisdom – even if you know it all and feel confident at the outset of the semester.
Later, as the season picks up, so too do the courses. Stay ahead. in the early years of college, there are so many pages to read and content to master, it is really hard to figure out what to wrap your head around. Is that going to be on the test or not?
Finally, as things are going along, look to some mentors in your field and start to make a relationship with them too. Go to office hours without pressing needs. See if there are some open lab meetings or extra presentations, research discussions, PhD. defences, invited speakers – etc. The field of study is something to consider. Is that exciting to you? Can you devote future decades in these endeavors? These extras go beyond the classroom and go beyond the athletics – but they’re going to be the value for the education. They’ll be the one’s to write you a reference for graduate school. They’ll be the one’s to shape your long-term career. If that stuff is bland – find other mentors, departments and fields of study.