66 Preparing for College Athletics

Tyelin May

A lot of high school athletes talk about how much they want to play their sport at the collegiate level. Something these athletes overlook, however, is the increase in physical and mental training needed to accomplish that feat. My goal for this resource is to compile as much information, advice, and tips to better prepare high school athletes for the college transition.  


The Physical Preparation 


Imagine the hardest and most grueling drills and workouts you went through as a high school athlete. Seemed tough then, huh? Well, unfortunately for you, majority of workouts at the collegiate level will be at the same level or above that “grueling” high school workout. But not to worry, there are plenty of ways to prepare for this drastic change. For one, don’t expect to be able to up your training to immediately match the collegiate level. You need to balance your workload and gradually work yourself up to a full-on college workout. Many collegiate athletic trainers stress the importance of allowing old or nagging injuries to heal before moving on to the college level. These injuries, if not healed properly, can result in time lost while at the collegiate level or may even put your college career in jeopardy.


This schedule is just an example of what a college cross country training schedule looked like in 2011. Don’t worry so much about what it says, but rather notice that everyday includes a set of workouts, usually consisting of multiple different ones in a day, with a few lighter days periodically. These “light days” are also critical to your success as a collegiate athlete. Health experts from HealthLine stress the importance of resting your body to allow injuries to heal properly, reduce the risk of future injury or reinjury, and improve overall performance. For more information and tips from HealthLine, visit  https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/rest-day.


Mental Preparation  


A large part of the college athletics life that many people overlook is the mental aspect. There are many factors that go into the mental side of being a student athlete. For starters, balancing athletics and academics is the most important aspect. It is important to provide adequate time to study and do schoolwork in between trips and workouts. A very good reference video for this subject can be found in the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbWtVGfTQHk&feature=youtu.be

The next important mental aspect for incoming college athletes is the revelation that you will not be the star athlete you were in high school. Odds are, you’ll probably be just another average athlete your freshman year. Everyone in college is good at their sport. So, an important mindset for incoming freshmen to have is that you will be humbled, so don’t be arrogant or bigheaded. For advice on this subject from college athletes visit this article: https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/sports/2019/06/25/bennermon-siegrist-yolas-and-sher-offer-advice-incoming-ncaa-athletes/1525894001/


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