I would say at least half of the athletes we work with have a dream of playing college sports. When you live in Columbus, Ohio with The Ohio State University right in your backyard, it definitely wets the appetite a bit more.
I always strongly encourage my athletes to pursue playing college sports if that is their dream. But, I always give them this one piece of advice…
No matter which division you are in, college sports is not a joke and you need to be prepared!
Athletes sometimes get the false sense of security about their abilities before they step foot on a collegiate field. They have played on elite level club teams, played in college showcases, and won all sorts of accolades prior to going to college.
What most of them fail to understand is that everyone else on their team also has done those things. Your college team has been put together with athletes who have very similar resumes to you. Only a small percentage truly will make that sudden impact right from the get go. A SMALL PERCENTAGE.
The majority of you will have to earn your playing time. And it will be EARNED.
This was the big reason why, William, a freshman division 1 soccer player started training with us a week or so ago. With the college soccer season all topsy turvy, his season will hopefully begin in mid-February.
He has decided to solicit our services to get him better prepared when he reports back to campus after break. He realized that he was at a different level having participated in team activities the previous few months and needed to improve.
The speed, the quickness, and the strength was all better than his. He realized that in some cases, he was competing against 21 or 22 year-old men. If he was going to be competitive and even get playing time, he needed to get better fast.
The great part about this is that he has two younger brothers who are enjoying their own form of success at the high school level. They too want to play college soccer. He had a talk with them and basically told them that he did not prepare for college soccer like he should have from a physical/athletic stand point. He is now trying to play catch up.
They have time to improve their athleticism and physical skills. Learn from his miscalculation and start working on those areas now. Even if you feel you are at a superior level in high school, you won’t be when you report for college.
Now, both of his brothers are beginning work with us as well. Which I think is great! Take advantage of this time, don’t get complacent, and continue to grow as an athlete. Assume your competition is doing what it takes to be better than you.
In this case, competition is not just your opponents, but maybe other athletes who are wanting to get a scholarship at the school you want to attend. Or maybe they are incoming athletes in your class vying for playing time at your position.
What will give you the best chance to separate yourself from those individuals?
William is trying to make up for lost time and I believe we will be able to help him out. His brothers are trying to put themselves in a better position than him when it is time for them to step on a college campus for the first time.
Learn from William’s miscalculation as well. Replicate what his brothers are doing and improve your physical abilities NOW so that you too aren’t blown away by the speed and strength of the college athlete.