Everything An Incoming Freshman Collegiate Athlete Should Expect
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Everything An Incoming Freshman Collegiate Athlete Should Expect

From a Senior Who's Been There, Done That

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Everything An Incoming Freshman Collegiate Athlete Should Expect
Marissa Baca

Going to college is an exciting time in one's life. It's an important step for a lot of people to reach their goals - like getting a job, going to graduate school, or furthering themselves in their athletics. Out of the many athletes who have played sports since they were young and continue through high school, only 3.3% of them will get to play NCAA sports. Playing a sport in college is nothing like playing a sport in high school. The competition is much fiercer, the practice hours are longer, and there's a little more added pressure. A lot of incoming freshman coming to compete in their sport at their chosen college, don't really know what to expect. As a senior Division 1 collegiate athlete, I'm here to tell you incoming freshman athletes everything you need to know about coming to play college sports.

First of all, lets begin with the fact that it's not for everyone. Throughout my time here I've known many fellow athletes and even teammates who have decided to call it quits because, lets face it, it's tough. Being a college athlete means waking up for 7 am workouts, going to classes, going to practice, finding time to eat, going to mandatory study hall (at least for freshman) and still trying to get good enough grades to ensure your eligibility. Its missing a lot of class due to traveling, and having to make up all the work.

When you're a collegiate athlete, your priorities are different than what us athletes call the NARPs (non athletic regular people). Unlike the rest of the college population, partying is certainly not a priority. Drinking, and late nights are not what you should be wanting to do as a college athlete. It certainly should not be a priority over getting good grades and competing to the best of your ability. Partying will only hurt you - good luck trying to find the time to party while you're in season anyway.

Chances are, you're not going to like everything your coach has to say, or tells you to do - but in the end, their job is not to make you happy 24/7, it's to make you a better athlete. My advice would be to not take a lot of what your coach says or does personally, because they're just doing your job. If you're told to do something, just do it and save yourself from hours of running. You can expect not to agree with your coach 100% but you need to respect their decisions and know they are only trying to help you become a better athlete.

Coming to play a collegiate sports means you're going to be playing on a team. I am a tennis player, and before college, tennis was always an individual sport, so I definitely had to make an adjustment of being on a team, surrounded by 7 or 8 other girls constantly. That being said, you probably wont get along with all of your teammates all the time. There might be drama, behind-the-back talking, and all of that "high school" stuff, but my advice would be to not get caught up in all that. Focus on what you came here to do.

If you're still reading, and I haven't scared you off yet, there is another thing you should expect when coming in as a freshman to play a college sport. IT IS FUN! Let's face it, you wouldn't be coming if you didn't love the sport you play, so soak it in and make the most of it. You will only get better while competing at the college level, and it really will be an experience that not very many people get to have, so embrace it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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