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Advice for Freshman Student Athletes

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Entering college is an exciting time that takes some adjusting to. Entering college as a student athlete can make the adjustment even more complicated. Here are just a few tips for making the transition to a college student athlete more manageable.  

Your new status is a full-time job.

If you treat your role as a student athlete like a full-time job, managing your time will be easier. Juggling practice, weight-training, conditioning, film, class, and studying can make anyone feel like they have zero “me” time. However, if you plan ahead, you will find that there is some time for yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to schedule your weeks with a planner and stick to it. Additionally, try to avoid napping, but rather use precious free time to get assignments completed. By sticking to your schedule, you will find more and more free time.

Plan ahead on sports-related absences.

Although it is never ideal to miss class, it’s inevitable that you will miss the occasional lecture due to games and travel time. One way to make sure this doesn’t set you back in your academics is to establish an open line of communication with professors. At the beginning of the semester, provide a schedule of the classes you’ll miss due to athletics. Always remind your instructors a week before and create a game plan to get any missed notes and when it is best for the both of you to hand in assignments.

“Manage your brand.”

One way student athletes find themselves in hot water is forgetting to “manage their brand.” Student athletes become part of a greater whole and you must be aware of how you are presenting yourself and representing your school. In addition, be mindful  to the activities in which you are involved. To avoid trouble, stay away from the party scene that can be found on many campuses and watch the company you keep. Again, remember you no longer only represent yourself as a student athlete, but also your teammates, sport, and school.

Take care of your body.

When planning your week, remember to schedule meals and an appropriate bedtime. This may seem obvious, but when your days get busy, your meals and sleep are often the first things sacrificed. Think of your mind and body as tools for success and provide fuel and proper rest. This helps you subsequently prepare for overall success.  

Make the most of failure.

The transition to college is a tough one at times and certain failures are inevitable For example, you may not get the grade you expected on a test or paper or you may not perform as well as you wanted during a game. Don’t let these setbacks get you down! Instead, use them as  learning experiences. Re-evaluate the amount of time you are allotting to studying, look into your effort during practice, or how well you are taking care of your body leading up to game day. Remember, college is supposed to be a learning experience, so apply that concept all around.

College is an experience that should be celebrated. Take this advice into consideration so that the experience doesn’t escape you!

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