Our first post will be dedicated to PREPARATION when becoming a college athlete.
We are going to talk about ways to physically, mentally, and emotionally get prepared for the greatest and hardest four years of your life as well as our journeys in becoming athletes here at San Diego State.
We are not going to sugar coat things, this will be a difficult journey but in the midst of the difficulty you will have so many rewards and accomplishments that it will be well worth it! Just be prepared to WORK!
In high school I (Alexa) was on my varsity lacrosse team since I was a freshman and our league was not enough to get me scouted by college coaches, so I decided to joined a club team my freshman year as well. The club team I played for was called T3, based out of New Jersey where we practiced a couple times a week and had tournaments up and down the east coast over summer. It was very enjoyable and I made a bunch of friends through it as well. This program was what inevitably got me into SDSU, which I am forever grateful to the coaching staff and program. After coming on an official visit to SDSU, I knew I wanted to be a part of this great program and I committed to SDSU during one of our home football games. From then on I was an Aztec for life. It was crazy yet empowering going back to high school the next week already knowing what was in store. This is where the preparation comes into play. I knew I had to train and prepare myself for the next level of play. College sports, as most of you know, are much more fast pace than high school sports. In high school you are used to being the superstar of the team, but once you get to college everyone on the team was their high school’s superstar, It was a little challenging coming in knowing everyone was on your level or better.
I (Kelsey) took my first dance class at the age of 4 and fell in love. From then on I grew up in the dance studio, taking classes sometimes up to 30 hours a week and competing every weekend. I earned at spot on my high school’s dance team starting my freshman year and continued on the team until my senior year, where I was captain of the team. During high school I also continued to dance and compete with a studio, which is how I feel I was able to grow to my fullest potential and continue to be pushed. Towards the end of my senior year, I knew it could possibly be my last year dancing, and with all my years of work and accomplishments, I knew I didn’t want it to come to an end. With the support of my coaches, I decided I should take the next step and try out for collegiate dance teams. After following SDSU’s Dance Team online, I tried out for the team and was thrilled to earn a spot after competing with almost 100 other girls. After making the team I had to work to be sure I was at the same level as the returning members of the team. This includes matching their style, mastering new tricks, and of course staying in shape. Like Alexa, coming from a team where you were the star, to a team where everyone is the best is eye opening and definitely pushes you to work harder than you ever have.
Step 1. Physical: Continue to stay in shape! Work out and follow the regiment. If your coach gives you a packet to prepare you better follow it! This is probably the most important aspect of being a college athlete. It is almost an unspoken rule that you come in ready to work!
Step 2. Mental: Being mentally tough is very difficult. It is easy to sike yourself out if things start to get rocky. Self positive talk is very important and proves to your coaches that you are a well rounded player. They want to know that when things get tough you are in it no matter what. More often then not in life we are our own worst enemy. There are little things that can help you such as positive notes or quotes where you can read them and remind yourself that you are here for a reason and are mentally tough and will get through it. Also it is good to have someone that keeps you accountable and lifts you up. If they see that you are struggling it is there job to pick you up and give you some positive talk.
Step 3. Emotional: College is hard! Yes it is fun, but with fun also comes responsibility, hard work, and stress. Many tears will be shed but it is what you do after that matters most. Like we said before have someone that you can go to who will pick you back up and be there for you when you are struggling. Being on a team you have an instant couple dozen friends that will be there for you. Do not be afraid to ask for some support. On a side note, if things get too serious seek professional help, do not be embarrassed because it is better to catch these feelings early then let them overpower you.
We hope this post helps prepare you and if you have any input or comments you would like to make please feel free to comment below!
Stay tuned for our next post where we will be focusing on the daily and weekly lives of athletes at SDSU. The life of a college athlete is busy and stressful, so we are going to provide you with all the details on how we manage our time and how we make sure everything gets done for school, our teams, and personal lives. Talk soon! 🙂