The time has finally come and you are preparing to leave for college. This is an exciting time for any high school graduate but you are among the select few who have been given the opportunity to continue your athletic career as well as earn a degree. First of all, congratulations! According to the NCAA, only about 2% of high school athletes will play college sports. Let me say that again…2%! You should be proud of yourself for making it to this level. However, with this opportunity comes additional responsibilities that the typical college freshman does not have. Every college experience is different, but you will find that the following list is consistent throughout different division levels and school sizes.
If managing your schedule in high school seemed tough, buckle your seat belt because things are about to get crazy. Unlike high school classes, college classes are often scattered throughout the day. You might have one class a day. You might have four classes back-to-back.
My Advice: Talk to your academic adviser about all of your options for your class schedule. Nothing is more stressful than getting out of class 15 minutes before practice starts when the field is a 20 minute walk. Sometimes you have no choice but to take a certain class but at least you can plan for it.
Unlike high school practices, there will be individual and team practices throughout the year, sometimes more than once a day. Add in the pre-season and regular season games and you now have yourself a full year of playing. For most athletes this is a dream come true.
My advice: Get a planner or use the calendar on your phone, whatever works for you. Plan out your day and it will make your life a lot easier!
Most athletes can adjust to and manage their new class and sport schedules without a problem. It is all the extras that seem to throw some athletes off. Outside of classes, practices, and games you can expect to have at least one or all of the following: team lifting sessions, individual lifting sessions, team meetings, team study table hours, individual study table hours, group meetings for classes, volunteer hours, NCAA meetings, travel time before and after games, and much more.
My Advice: Plan out your day because I haven’t even gotten to the stuff you have forgotten about.
Seems easy enough, right? Wrong. You will be surprised at how often you will run out of time to take a shower, or do your laundry, or eat, or even sleep. Even if you took care of yourself in high school, there was usually someone there to help you out if you were pressed for time. Maybe you will live close enough to home that your mom will come do your laundry for you, but most likely you will end up studying for your bio exam while sitting on a clothes dryer.
Most campuses have food services of some kind. Whether it is cafeteria style or a restaurant, it is likely that the hours they are open do not fit perfectly into your schedule.
My Advice: Plan ahead. If you know you will not have a chance to eat after class, go before and bring a snack for later. Be smart in your nutrition choices because the “Freshman Fifteen” is not your only threat. Remember: You eat like CRAP, you PLAY like crap.
As if you didn’t have enough going on already with classes, homework, and your sport, you are also on a campus that has events going on almost daily. There will be bar-be-ques, games, movie nights, and other events that you will want to, and should, go to. You will have friends that are not athletes that do not have the same schedule as you. You may even have a boyfriend or girlfriend that has a different schedule.
My Advice: Stay on top of your school work so that you are able to have fun without it putting you behind.
Bottom Line: You will be successful and enjoy your college experience if you…
Club: Colorado Classix 17′s
High School: Colorado Springs Christian School (CSCS), Class of 2014
There comes a point in every athlete’s career when there is a setback or bump in the road. Some don’t make the varsity roster, some don’t crack the starting lineup, and some are hit with an injury that puts them on the sideline. No matter what obstacle comes in the way, there are always those athletes that make the best of their situation. They put their nose to the grindstone and find a way to improve their game, keep a positive attitude, and find a way back to the court or field.
Kelsey Hunter is one of those athletes. Unfortunately, Kelsey suffered an ACL injury during her high school season, causing her to miss the State playoffs with her team, and later, delay her off-season training. As most athletes, coaches, and parents know, an injury to the knee (especially an ACL tear) can change a career. But, Kelsey was ready to attack this new challenge head on. Her positive mindset and her determination to come back stronger than she was before her injury really set Kelsey up for success. Not only did she dominate her physical therapy sessions, it was not long before she was back training with Max Performance and just itching to get back to the volleyball court. Kelsey has now fully returned to playing volleyball and is enjoying the club season. She was recently named a captain for her high school team and is hoping to lead Colorado Springs Christian back to the State tournament.
I tore my ACL two weeks before my team went to State. It was a devastating blow to me, because this would be the second year I had gone to State and not played. I also missed out on a lot of time I could have spent getting better, which hurt the most. It set me back both physically and emotionally.
I chose Spectrum because I knew the people there, and I knew that they would do everything they could to get me back on the court as soon as possible. I honestly would not trust anyone else to help me with that.
Max Performance has not only made me physically strong again, but they have also made me mentally strong. I know that after training with them that I have an advantage over many of my opponents, which has led me to be more confident in myself and my abilities.
I believe the mental aspect of my training is the most important. Becoming mentally strong comes during those last couple of reps when you think you cannot do it. But instead, you dig deep and finish. This has taught me to dig deep and fight, even when you don’t think you have anything left.
My last coach, Ellie Marshall, was one of my biggest inspirations after my injury. She taught me how to believe in myself again, and she helped me remember why I love the game of volleyball so much. I would be happy to grow up and be at least half the person she is.
I have a lot of little quotes and Bible verses that keep me motivated, and that help keep things in perspective, but this is one of my favorites:
“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.” – Richard Bach
Let’s face it girls, boys played sports before us. It’s not our fault that girls were not allowed to play before 1972 (when Title IX was passed and girls could no longer be excluded from sports), but it is up to us to prove that girls can play hard! During the time I spent playing — and now coaching — girls sports, I’ve noticed that there are a few distinct differences in the way that male and female athletes play and practice. I’ve come up with a list of things that girls should learn from watching the boys.