As many student-athletes return to campus this week to begin fall practices, here are a few helpful tips to make sure you hit the ground running for pre-season (and if you aren't excited to play a high school sport this season, here's four reasons you should be).
Nothing will enhance your team experience and success on the field like regular practice! Practicing your sport, supporting your practices with additional strength and weight training, and eating a well balanced diet will all contribute to your success on the field.
Place Healthy Living at the Forefront
Your body will endure rapid changes during the pre-season, and it’s important to adapt your lifestyle and eating habits to properly fuel your new routine and workout. Now is the time to reevaluate what you need to succeed. Developing a realistic sleep schedule so your body can adequately rejuvenate for the next day (not too much, but certainly not too little sleep!) and being mindful to stock up on protein, greens, and 8 glasses of water a day will help you to achieve your athletic goals.
Occupy supportive and diverse roles on the team
All high school athletes occupy different roles on a team—some are skilled when it comes to defensive plays, others with making goals or participating in assists. Some players have speed, while others have strategy or strength. Find find what feels best for you and take note of how you can best contribute to the team. If you have trouble discerning your role on the field, talk to the coach and come up with a plan.
Reevaluate Your Social Media Presence
Be mindful when it comes to your digital trail. Not only are you representing yourself, but also your team and academic institution as a whole. Posting negative, slandering, or illicit content can have seriously repercussions that can affect your status on a team or within a school community. Furthermore, it can affect the way recruiters, colleges, and future employers view you as a potential member of their community. When it comes to athletics specifically, posting about personal sports injuries or making commitments to multiple schools can also hinder your chances of being recruited.
Keep Parents Involved
Your parents are likely your biggest fans on (and off) the field, and they can also be a huge support system to you during a busy season of highs and lows. Keeping your parents in the loop about your passion for the sport, your game (and homework) schedule, and your role on the team can bolster your performance and be a rewarding activity for you all to share in. It certainly doesn’t hurt the momentum of the game to have more fans in the stands!
If you're interested in furthering your high school athletic career by getting into college or a private school for sports, check out our guide to making an athletic highlight reel.