There is a swift and overwhelming change in reality many athletes face when starting their freshman year in college. Now they are just another person on the team, no more the popular high school superstar with all the favors that come with it. They become just another face at practice along with all the other athletes fresh out dozens of other high schools. New college athletes must be prepared for a different life as a college student and learn to balance all their new responsibilities at once. Here are some things to know getting started in a life of your own.
Depending on the college or university, student athletes can be under greater scrutiny. Juggling athletics with daily practice, workouts, and academic deadlines mean using all your best time management and organizational. Unfortunately, some athletes are lacking in these skills.
That is why many colleges and universities today have tutoring departments specifically dedicated to helping student athletes. Tutors will help them hone time management strategies that will teach them to prioritize their academic work. studying strategies will teach them how to focus on their studies without letting athletic performance anxiety get in the way. Be sure to talk to counselors as well. They’ll be able to help tell you what class loads to take and how to balance studies in a way that makes sense with the sports seasons. If you don’t keep your grades at a certain level you could be dismissed from the team for a time so be sure you keep academic studies part of your priorities.
In high school, athletes have the ability to speak with school counselors about stress related to academics or sports. In college, there is a team of counselors as well as a staff psychiatrist or psychologist that not only is on call for any emotional issues that need to be addressed, but travels with the team in order to be available for any problems which might occur on game day.
For example, if a team is going to a travel game and there is a bus accident, staff psychologists would be on hand for each athlete if they needed to discuss any mental trauma they endured and how it might affect their school or athletic performance. The staff psychologist would determine if they were able to play in the upcoming game. In a less extreme example, an athlete may have done something during a game that led to a loss and is having a hard time dealing with it. They can go to the team’s staff mental health expert and discuss their feelings instead of dealing with it on their own.
Colleges and universities want to ensure their athletes have the same opportunities as other students to perform at their academic best, even though they have the added pressures of performing on the field of play. That is why there are dedicated teams of professionals at their disposal. Be sure to take advantage of all the resources you have available to you and find a way to strategize and think critically about your balancing act with school, sports, and emotional well-being.