Dear high school senior athletes
December 1, 2016
I still remember the minute I decided to commit to play collegiate baseball for Rochester Institute of Technology.
I was sitting in my grandmother’s house on a dark afternoon, and I punched an email to the coach saying something along the lines of “I’m going to be Tiger!” It was a simple email that determined the next chapter of my life, the most important four or five years of my life.
Sure, that was a big decision, but I want to gently remind you…the bigger decisions you will be making are what you’re going to do in between your verbal and official commitment to the day you step on campus. What you decide to do with that time in between these two big days will determine the course and trajectory your collegiate career will look like.
Stay on top of your classes.
I remember being victimized by raging symptoms of a common phenomenon called “senioritis.” As much as I wanted to slack in the classroom, I was fortunate enough to realize that graduating with a stellar academic record will put you in an even better position to receive additional financial aid, scholarships and a smoother path to academic success. Some high-school athletes will get athletic scholarships, but that kind of consistent financial support is never guaranteed. Academic scholarships are. So, keep getting after it in the classroom.
Get strong as heck.
You know the term, “big fish in a small pond,” right? You might be one of the big fishes in a small pond as of right now, but I would like to gently remind you that you will now become a big fish in a massive ocean. This can mean a few different things—it can apply to physical fitness, skillset and mentality…or all of the above. But one of the primary predictors of college underclassmen’s early success hinges on their advanced levels of physical fitness. If you show up on campus, compete equally as well or better than your veteran teammates, you’re going to turn some heads. I highly recommend investing in a disciplined strength and conditioning program right away.
Develop good habits.
Google says that habits take somewhere around 66 days to become established. Your college experience will be testing your ability to maintain good habits, a healthy lifestyle and a consistent self-discipline in every aspect of the word. I highly recommend that you start thinking about some of the things that you feel that you’d be focusing a lot on in college (keeping a healthy diet, a solid sleep schedule, or a homework routine) and come up with a strategy or technique that allows you to build better self-awareness. That way you’ll be able to stay in tune with yourself, know when you’re starting to lose balance and know immediately how to correct that imbalance.
I hope this helps give you a better idea of what to do until you finally arrive on campus. I am very much looking forward to seeing you on campus. This is just the start of something truly big.