First off, congratulations. You’re about to be a part of a very small percentage of all athletes in the country to play collegiately.
Not too shabby at all.
The only thing you can do now is the professional life and/or the Olympics. But for now, you might as well be at the top of the game. The recruiting process was probably an enduring yet fun time, with all of the different schools and coaches telling you that you’re going to be that next legendary athlete to walk through their doors.
Hopefully it’s true.
They wouldn’t recruit you if they didn’t believe you couldn’t help them. But if you really do think you’re “all that” going into summer workouts and camp, how about you click here first…
You’re in for a rude awakening. College sports is a JOB.
You REALLY have some long hours with school, lifts, practice, film, study hall for 5-6 days a week. The coaches that once filled your head with all this talk about how their program can’t even exist without you are the same ones telling you that you’re nothing, and that they can’t wait until next year’s recruits come in and take your spot.
It’s not a joke. It’s a dog eat dog world, and if you aren’t hungry, you’ll get eaten. Now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have fun; of course there are many perks that come with the territory. Being known around campus and potentially the country; flights around the nation to play the sport you love; fans cheering your name; the camaraderie that comes with the family you’ll develop over these next 4-5 years. And the gear.
Lots and lots of gear. Nothing better than free clothes when you’re a college kid.
You’ll also acquire so many skills and connections by just being a college athlete it’s almost laughable. Not only does playing in college give you the biggest chance to go pro, but when your athletic career is over, employers will most likely look at all that hard work and dedication as a big positive.
To any high schooler reading this, the message I’m trying to send is definitely not to scare or intimidate you when entering this next phase of your athletic career. I just want you to know that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The grind is much harder than it was in high school, and if you want to be a successful student-athlete, then you will have to also not only compete with your teammates, but also the kids in your classrooms who have much more time to study than you will.
Let’s face it, sports don’t last forever. So, you do in fact need that degree to start a successful career. Being a student-athlete is a job that requires long hours and doesn’t pay.
But I would be an idiot if I said that the time I’ve put in wasn’t worth it.