The transition from a star high school athlete to a college athlete is not necessarily an easy one. 

Besides the pressure of putting one's talents against a whole new level of competition, in which the athlete is as yet untested, they must have a growth mindset that speaks to achieving their fullest potential, in unknown and potentially difficult circumstances.

However, these transitions are not new. 

People have been studying this phenomenon for many years and have come up with a number of ways that high school athletes can prepare for college athletics and, indeed, the whole college experience.

Change Your Mindset to Reflect Your New Circumstances

One of the most challenging things that great athletes face during this transition is that they will likely become a small fish in a much bigger pond. To continue the metaphor, the pond will be full of competition that is much better than that of the previous pond.

The sooner that a star baseball player realizes that the baseball gloves, the rules and the field of play are the same, the sooner they will be able to relax into their new role, whatever that may be. 

If a high school starter doesn't win a starting role on the team, they must be content with the backup role and always strive to help the team excel.

Fall In With the Right People

You are the company that you keep, or so the expression goes. Of course, there will be differences, such as the amount in student loans that one must pay back, but when it comes to the important things, like your values, you want to surround yourself with like-minded people.

Finding a good and trusted core group of friends will help you to feel more relaxed in your new situation, which should translate to putting your best energies and attention into your athletics and your studies.

Keep an Open Mind

These days, there are a number of athletes who may receive compensation for their contributions to the school. 

Whether or not this is you, you need to keep a proper perspective on your place in your new surroundings. 

The faster you are able to realize that things look, feel, and are different than they were in high school, the sooner you'll be able to adjust to the life of a college athlete.

You can expect the faces to be different as you'll be leaving your hometown for a melting pot, of sorts. 

Colleges and universities attract candidates who want to better themselves and come from all walks of life, as do the instructors and the coaches. These differences should be embraced as they will help your mind to open to the potentials and possibilities of the world at large.

Use Your Resources

College life is one in which freshmen are generally not simply thrown into the fire. 

Though you will have lots to learn, the institution will have scores of resources available for you to help with everything from coursework to residential life to athletics and beyond. 

The university wants you to succeed, as do its coaches and teachers. When things go out of focus or become too difficult, you must advocate and find the resources that exist to help you through.


Transitions can be difficult, especially when going from high school to college. 

This is doubly true for student-athletes because besides learning how to live and function efficiently on their own for the first time, athletes must also perform at a higher level than before. 

Taking the time to consider how best to prepare for this transition is tantamount to arriving at college ready to tackle any challenges, on or off the field.


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