“But I should be playing!” a student lamented. Every single student-athlete who wants to compete will always want to be put in the starting line-up right away no matter what. It’s also one of the reasons why some student-athletes don’t pan out. They don’t understand and accept their place on the roster.
No one likes to be told what to do. I get that. But at the same time, you’re back on the bottom of the ladder. You aren’t in high school anymore. I had my high school varsity letter jacket on in the fall as a freshman. One of the seniors pulled me aside and told me to close the yearbook. “We don’t care what you did in high school. It’s what you do now that matters.” So I overnighted that jacket home. I had to start all over again. I had to do my time, “pay the man” is a phrase commonly used in the special operations world, and it applies to this. You can sit and pout if you aren’t playing much. But here’s what you can do…
Keep your eyes PEELED!
If you’re sitting on the bench…you have the best seat in the house. You will run into several All-Americans, All-Region, and some of the most elite athletes you’ll ever be around. Pay attention to what they do. You might be able to learn something!
Push your teammates.
Give your teammates a hard time in practice. This doesn’t mean you get rude or anything. Compete against them as best as you can. Competing against the best will always help you elevate your game faster than from competing against the bottom feeders. Badger your coach to get you reps against the top dogs. This will also show the coaches how bad you want it.
In today’s world, athletes are more vocal on and off the field, in and out of social media, and wherever they go. This can be good and bad. You don’t talk about what’s going on with your team. Only praise your team. No talking down on your teammates or coaches. Stay positive. Even if you haven’t gotten a chance to compete all year long. Set your ego aside, and your time will come.
The formula is simple. Pay attention. Push hard. Keep your mouth shut. Your time will come.