In the United States alone there are over 7,800,000 high school athletes where a small percentage will move on to play in college. So how do we know which student-athlete will move on? It’s hard to predict. What we don’t know, it’s your desire, passion and willingness to suffer more than anyone in order to see your dream of playing college sports become reality. There are more than 460,000 NCAA student athletes who compete every year in 24 sports all year round. Sounds like a lot but the main question is: Could you be one of them? Your are the only one that will answer that question.
According to NCAA, more than 8 our of 10 student athletes will earn a bachelor degree and more than 35% will earn a postgraduate degree. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to go to college and graduate so you can earn your degree and become a well educated citizen of the world. Student-athletes can use their athletic abilities to play a college sport but there is a lot of preparation behind the scenes that many many not be aware of.
I will outline 5 questions student-athletes should do on daily, weekly and monthly basis that could bring them closer to play in college. It’s never easy to train and push your body to the limits while you try to exceel academically.
Student-athletes have a busy schedule that makes time fly by and when it’s over you wish you could do it all over again. By then, it will be someone else’s turn.
So while you are in high school and you want to play your sport in college, just keep in mind that there is always someone else willing to do your work. Let’s get down to the questions.
1. Do You Train While Your Friends Party?
It’s never easy to say NO to your friends when it’s time to go to a party. I know, you sacrifice yourself so you can truly achieve what you want. People may say s/he got lucky and that’s why they are playing in college. Let those people talk and just focus on your work. You and I know how much you suffered, and how many things you had to give up so you can get closer of accomplishing your dream. You worked hard, fought for your chances, made your own luck and took advantages of the opportunity. You deserve it. Celebrate the moment. If you don’t train while others party, now it’s time to think about it and do it.
2. Do You Focus On Yourself?
Look at any successful athlete and tell me that they don’t focus on themselves. All athletes who want to improve, they are always focusing on themselves, are disciplined and seek new ways to train harder, smarter, get feedback and become more effective. Their work never stops because they are eager to learn and improve so they can excel more than anyone else. Are you focusing enough on yourself? Can you do better in school or at training? Can you run more in games? Instead of playing video games, being on your phone so much, watching your favorite TV show you should train more, mediate, listen to helpful podcasts related to your sports and understand the psychology behind the human body and mind. There is so much more you can do to improve yourself. Don’t tell me what you plan on doing next, show that to your coaches.
3. Are You Monitoring Your Nutrition?
Student-athletes need to be hydrated and well feed in oder to have the power, strength and energy to train daily and perform at high intensity. Nutrition can sometimes be ignored and unfortunately it affects an athletes’ performance drastically. If you look at any great coaches, I am sure they communicate with their team the fact that they want their athletes to eat healthy, drink lots of water and be ready for the next training.
It’s all about the details and little things that become habits in the long run. Those small steps can easily change someone’s life. If you truly want to compete in college or at the pro level, make sure you are eating healthy and taking care of your body. As a student-athlete you depend on your body so treat it like your temple and watch everything you put in it.
4. Do You Have Time Management Skills?
I know you’ve got a busy schedule but so do everyone else. It’s your job to get 7-8 hours of sleep, go to school, do your homework, train, study and repeat that again and again. The more you can manage your time, the better you will prioritize and make the most of your day. Don’t procrastinate because you will fall behind and it will be hard to catch up in such a fast environment of yours. Your time management skills will help you survive all obstacles and it will prepare you to do well in college when you will need to perform at your best while under pressure.
5. Do You Recover Properly So You Can Perform At Higher Intensity?
This is probably the most important aspect of a student-athletes life. Just think about it. How can a player perform well on and off the field with the proper sleep, nutrition and body recovery. How can a player train without a good warn up. How can a player recover after the games without a cool down, proper stretching, ice baths sometimes or even massages. Athletes that take care of their bodies, can always push themselves more at training and in games. They have more energy when the body is rested and fully recovered. A lot of times it’s the team that works harder that gets the big results but that hast to start with you first.
The recovery process is the most ignored one based on my experiences. We all know that after games teams cool down and stretch. But often times that’s not enough. For those athletes that played most of the games they need to spend way more time on their recovery. Players are often told to stretch more at home but I know that many don’t do it. They have admitted that on several occasions.
It’s about how much are you willing to suffer and sweat when no one is watching you, how much harder can you work than you did yesterday and when will you stop fighting for your dream. Those are a few questions to keep in mind when you want to play at the college level. How bad do you want to play in college? Let your actions do the talking.