Work ethic is everything, no matter what you do in life. Working hard and refusal to give up is a common characteristic of a student athlete.
A common concept that many coaches talk about is pushing past your comfort level and being comfortable being uncomfortable. Essentially they mean to not give up when you are in pain, because practicing continuing while in pain will help you become stronger in competition. A strong work ethic in your sport will translate to a strong work ethic in school and the working world. Being in a routine with practices, weights and class helps create balance and teaches people to prioritize and strategize and this will later help past college. Being a successful student athlete begins with your want to work hard, so without work ethic it is difficult to succeed.