Why college athletics will change your life
Playing sports in college will take you far beyond the x’s and o’s. Long after college is past, the wins and losses will fade, but the benefits of those years will last a life time. Athletics can be an important and integral part of your college experience. If you have the opportunity but are unsure whether you should compete in college, here are 5 amazing benefits of college athletics you and your parents should consider.
My biggest joy as a college coach was watching young adults graduate and remembering what they were like as freshmen. Student athletes who play for four years are rarely the same when they leave the program.
Confidence building is a huge aspect of sport. With sport you are essentially performing on a stage. Getting yourself out there, working hard, the discipline of showing up every day, and seeing yourself improve over the years all feed into it. Sports provide the platform to build the confidence you can take with you into life.
I had one young lady who contacted me a couple years after she graduated. She told me she felt out of place in her master’s program and felt like everybody else knew what was going on. She also said she knew she would be fine and get through it well.
How did she know she would do well when she felt inferior? She had been through this all before. Several years earlier, she was an out of shape freshman who took a challenge from her coach to work hard and grab hold of her abilities. She responded by remaking herself year after year from someone who barely belonged on the team to become a captain and a great leader.
Sport is team oriented. Employers look positively on applicants who have played collegiately. Potential employers know you have been in an intense environment for four years and have had to work as a member of a team.
Leadership is forged within teams.
Being the president of a student organization may be titled as leadership and help build your skills to some degree. Captains of college sports teams, however, are tested and tried leaders by the time they are through.
A college captain bears little resemblance to a high school or club captain. A college captain is usually a liaison between coaches and players. A captain must work harder than everybody else. A captain learns how to confront their teammates, on and off of the field. And all in an intense, emotional environment.
The structure and discipline forge habits that are not quickly forgotten. You may survive, but you cannot thrive in both the classroom and on the field unless you develop a disciplined lifestyle. These lessons make the transition after college to a career and a family much easier.
A Team is a Family
Finally, there is somebody watching out for you. Coaches and assistant coaches are notorious for caring about and watching out for their athletes. They are like extended family. A lot of college students will get lost in the shuffle and lack any kind of adult accountability. Coaches hold players accountable. They care if you are not going to class. They care about what happens to you.
In addition you have teammates, built in friends, watching out for you as well. Both teammates and coaches will confront you if they see you making poor choices. As a regular student, no one confronts you or holds you accountable to high standards of academics and conduct.
More than Wins and Losses
College athletics provide so much more than wins and losses. They provide a cauldron in which life skills are defined. College athletes gain confidence and leadership abilities beyond what many of their peers will. Athletics force the student athlete to form great habits and work ethic. Teammates become family, a few of whom will become life-long friends and confidants.
Only 7% of all high school athletes are able to experience the life changing experience of college athletics. If your passion is to play in college, you need a plan to get there.