Being an athlete in today’s world can be challenging from the many pressures and expectations placed upon you but entering into college as an athlete has a whole new bundle of pressures and expectations associated with it. Sometimes the expectations athletes are held to can be realistic and other times they aren’t. Your expectations are set high from everyone around you; coaches, parents, friends and yourself. Make sure you keep your expectations where they are expected from yourself; and as long as you put in the effort where it is needed, you will succeed. Another halting factor to your athletic success when you enter into the college realm as an athlete are the many temptations coming at you just because you are an athlete, but also because you are human. Having the ideas to live a “normal” college life as an athlete won’t be feasible. The temptations to just go drink, party, do something stupid, take things because you are an athlete, get special privileges, and have tons of people throwing themselves at you; these are all things that will be awaiting you in college. These temptations can make or break your career, so making sure to resist the situations that are going to cause these awful outcomes should be avoided. Below I have listed 5 things that can be done to insure your success and help downplay the temptations and elevate the expectation dilemmas:
1. Have a good work ethic: If you maintain the work ethic that helped you succeed to get into college and be able to play sports, then you will continue to succeed. Make sure you make wise decisions when it comes to what is going on in classes. Staying on top of things will lead to a stress free season in sports and in the classroom
2. Always carry yourself in a good light: No matter what you are doing or where you are throughout the community, as an athlete you are representing your university at all times, so make sure when you are out somewhere that you don’t get too crazy, don’t try to start fights, and be respectful to everyone, even when it is hard.
3. Pick and choose your activities: You’re in college and you want to have fun! And you should but make sure you have fun in the right places and at the right activities. Make wise choices on what you are going to do and how it will affect you in training and class the next day. Being an athlete comes with a vigorous schedule so sometimes to maintain sanity it is good to take a night off and just let your body relax; so choosing to stay home to catch up sleep is sometimes a better decision than to go out to a ragger with all your buddies
4. Don’t give in to temptations: When you have tons of things and people being thrown at you sometimes it’s hard to say no and you don’t always have to! Just make sure you are following the rules and the standards you have set for yourself, along with those important people around you and what they have set for you. For example if your coach has placed a dry season flag on the team, then it probably wouldn’t be wise to go out and drink just because someone has offered free drinks all night, just for you. If you remember what you are there for and the people that mean a lot to you and what they think, it will be harder to give in to the wrong temptations.
5. Use your mind: Simply think before you do. Don’t make rash decisions they will become negative effects. Rear away from those people who are going to try and peer pressure you into doing something you don’t want to and don’t let others make decisions for you. If you use your head before you attempt to do something you will be more balanced on the good and bad decisions.
I hope these few tips are vital and helpful when entering college athletics and college in general. It is simple, just being smart about your life and actions will only lead to success as you travel through your college years. Make sure your decisions are your own and that you are always giving full effort for the two main reasons you made it there: school and sport.