For high school athletes, earning a collegiate athletic scholarship is pretty awesome. There is notoriety at school and at the local, and sometimes national, media. This is another way to solidify the fact that the hard work, sacrifices, and long days and nights were worth it. The transition from high school to collegiate athletics can be a tricky one if you aren't prepared. The athletic, academic, and personal responsibilities and expectations are elevated. As a collegiate student-athlete it is expected that you make the right choices with your new-found autonomy in and out of athletics. As a collegiate student-athlete, you need to prepare yourself for a different schedule, different academic settings and routines, more athletic demands, and adjusting to new teammates and coaches. It is expected that you will find a healthy balance between your athletic, academic, and social responsibilities. Understand that you are accountable for your success and your lessons learned. Its levels to this, guys and girls.
Look at all of this as an invited challenge. It would be helpful to gain as much information from those who are already in going through what you are preparing for. Also, this is the perfect time for you to decide who you want to be as a collegiate student-athlete. Take the time to determine your own personal standards and what type of impact you want to have as a collegiate student-athlete. Think about how you want to brand yourself and take the needed steps to promote that brand even before you get to college. Work on becoming even more valuable to your team, your university, your family, and your community.
To play at the professional level is an opportunity that few are afforded to have. Earning a spot on a professional roster and becoming a professional athlete is by no means a small feat. This is a physically and mentally challenging process that you should be prepared for. Playing professionally affords an athlete professional, personal, and financial opportunities that are quite unique. While preparing to enter professional sports, it would be beneficial to have a plan for how to maximize your time as a professional athlete while also working towards your future.
Think about how you will use your unique position to continue to build your brand and impact others. Make sure you have a plan in place to manage your finances and assets. Live within your means. You should be in the present. Prove your worth. Enjoy your time. Put in work every, single, day. Be mindful of your work ethic and find ways to improve it before you begin your professional career. Use your professional sport experience to create future opportunities for yourself though networking, off season internships, continuing education, and things like that. Have a general idea about who you want to be and what you will do after athletics.
The actual gap in time between your last high school game and the first day you report to campus as well as your last college game and the day you become a professional athlete is so valuable to the next phase of your athletic career. Use this transition to mentally prepare for known as well as possible unexpected situations. There is such a focus on the physical preparation and expectations at the next level that some overlook the influence of mental preparation for the next level. Take time during your transition to become just as mentally strong as you are physically strong, if not stronger. This will help you become an asset rather than just an option. Think about it. #FlexThatMentalMuscle