The decision to continue playing a beloved sport in college is a tough one. For me, it was not easy to decide to play soccer in college, but I am very grateful and glad that I did. Playing soccer in college was the best decision I ever made and I do not regret it, however, playing a sport in college is a lot different than playing a sport in high school. You have to be dedicated and self-motivated to be able to continue on in college. If you are having troubling deciding if you should play a sport in college, here are 11 reasons why you should continue to play the sport you love.
As a college athlete, you will get the support from some of the most influential people in your life. Your coaches, teammates, and trainers will help you with anything and everything you need. Everything from emotional slumps to academic goals. It is nice to have people who have your back.
You are not only a student at your college or university, but also an athlete. Practice, games, tests, homework, and projects are all equally important as a student-athlete. You learn how to manage your time to get both your workouts in and do your homework and study as a student-athlete. You learn that time is valuable and waste as little of it as possible.
As a college student, you will notice that many of your non-athlete friends struggle with working out and gaining weight. They just can't seem to find the time to workout and the food in the cafeteria has begun to give them the notorious "freshman fifteen." Student athletes already have their workouts built into their schedule and learn proper nutrition for their bodies, so they avoid weight gain and unhealthy habits. Your body will thank you for playing a sport in college.
4. Academic Motivation
Most college athletic programs require a minimum GPA to be eligible to participate in competitions and games. As a student-athlete, your grades must be above the minimum GPA of both your institution and athletic division so that you can play. Coaches also make sure their athletes are keeping up with their grades and will even encourage team study tables so that the team makes grade requirements
5. Financial Aid/ Scholarships
A bonus to continuing to play the sport you love is that many (however not all) college athletic programs will give you a scholarship or some sort of financial aid for playing. Although plenty of student-athletes play in college not just for the scholarships, it is nice to be rewarded for all the time and effort you put into your sport.
6. Stress Reliever
College is hard and the bottom line is is that it is stressful. Students are overwhelmed in college and need something to help reduce their stress. Playing a sport in college is the perfect way to let off some steam and take a break from all the studying, homework, and projects. Physical activity helps reduce stress and anxiety and will make you a better, happier student.
7. Gives You Energy
College students are commonly said to be lazy and tired all the time. If you are a student-athlete though, you will most likely have more energy than your non-athlete friends. Physical activity helps pump more oxygen and blood throughout the body to all your body systems. The more oxygen and blood pumped, the more active you will feel. The extra energy you gain will help you manage your busy schedule and get everything done.
Your teammates will become some of the most important people in your life. As a freshman, your teammates will be some of the first people you meet when you get to campus. You spend hours each day with your team at practices and games and will get very close with them very easily. Many of your best friends will be your teammates if you decide to play a college sport.
9. Sense of Purpose
Being a part of something makes you feel like you have a purpose. By playing on a college athletic team, you will feel like you are important to the team and will develop a sense of purpose. Each member of the team is valuable in different ways. You really feel like you belong and are an asset to your team as a college athlete. When you achieve both your individual and team goals, you will get your sense of purpose.
10. Commitment and Dedication
College athletes learn valuable lessons. Playing a sport in college is somewhat similar to having a job. If you don't show up to practice, your position on the team is in jeopardy. Sometimes it is hard to choose to stay in when your friends are going out because you have practice in the morning, or you wish you could go to the movies, but you have a game. However, as a college athlete, you must be dedicated and committed to the team. Learning to be committed and dedicated is important, because once you graduate, you will have to be committed to the career you choose.
11. Deepen your Passion
You have loved this sport your whole life, and the opportunity to play in college is a blessing not everyone has. If you get the chance to play in college, take it. High school athletes take playing a sport for granted, and as a college athlete, you are given the opportunity to continue to do what you love for the next for years.