First off, let me just start by saying that one my main reasons for coming to the University of the Cumberlands was to be able to run college track.
They offered me that chance so I took it and am glad that I did. However, the transition from high school was a real game-changer. It’s not as bad as you would think – but it’s no cake walk either. You really have to be dedicated to play a sport in college. UC has some very wonderful and successful sports programs and I’m so glad that I get to be a part of them, not to mention that they keep adding new sports all the time! For example, they just started an archery team this year and we are excited to see how things go with that.
College sports are different from high school sports in that in college, it’s more like a job than a sport. I’m not saying that in a bad way, especially if you are getting scholarships for it. It’s harder and more time consuming, but the experiences are much more exciting than in high school. You get to meet a lot more new people and also get to travel to farther places. Your team not only becomes your team, but they also become your family. You really do get to share a special bond with them.
High school athletes could prepare for the transition from high school to college in several ways. One would have to be listen to your coaches because they know what they are talking about! Even if you think you know it all, you actually don’t know more than they do. Just train as hard as you can and come in physically prepared for the change, but more importantly come in mentally prepared as well. The mental game is a really big part in college sports. Train hard, study hard and listen to your coaches are probably the main things to remember for and up and coming college athlete.
You also must prioritize things. I’ve only had two track coaches and they have both told us as a team what the priorities in school are. 1. God, 2. Family, 3. School, and 4. Track. So keep things in order! Coaches in college understand that you came to college to get an education, so if you have to miss because you have a test the next day, they will all try to work with you as best they can.