Pre-Season Tips from One Student Athlete to Another - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life
August 3, 2016

Pre-Season Tips from One Student Athlete to Another

Being a student athlete is an awesome experience.  However, every year, as the new student athletes come to campus, there is always an acute feeling of anxiety as they are unsure of what pre-season will hold for them.  Here are some helpful tips coming from a former student athlete.

Tip 1: Come in Shape

If you work out now, pre-season will be ten times better for you.  It’s so much easier to get through a three-a-day camp when you aren’t fighting against your body all day long.  Now, you will still be sore and tired, but not nearly as sore and tired as the person next to you, who did not get a mile time and has to go back to the track for the third time this week.  So, pick up that summer training pack, and pump that iron.

Tip 2: Drink up Buttercup!

One of the most important things during pre-season is to stay hydrated!  You don’t want to get dehydrated and have to spend the day in the training room instead of proving your worth to the team and especially to the coaches.  So, while you have down time, carry around a water bottle, or have a water bottle within arm’s length at all times to replenish your system for the next workout session of the day.

Tip 3: Push Yourself!

By now, you have been playing your sport for some time and have chosen the path less taken for a reason.  This was a good choice and one that you will not regret making.  Push yourself like you have never been pushed.  These will be the last years, for most of you, playing the sport you love at an intense level of competition.  Use this time to be the best you can and to improve yourself.  Be confident in whom you are as a player and a teammate.

Tip 4: Invest in your teammates!

Invest in your teammates.  They will be the first people you see in the morning and the last people you see before bed.  Most of your down time in college is taken up with the sport that you play, which means your teammates are going to be the people you spend the most of your time with.  Get to know them and who they are.  Life-long friends have been made on the Geneva fields.  Also, it is best not to upset the people you are going to be spending all your down time with for the next four years.

Tip 5: Take Ice Baths!

Ice baths definitely sounds like the worst things in the world.  Who would chose to willingly enter into a whirlpool of ice?  Well, after four years of playing college sports, trust me, ice baths are one of the best thing to help with all the sore muscles of pre-season.  It will be 10 minutes of horrible cold, but in the end, it is worth it when everyone else comes hobbling to the third session of the day and you are up and ready to go.

Tip 6: Free time = Sleep time!

The common misunderstanding when given the pre-season schedule and one sees free time between practices, team-bonding, and meals is to think of all the great things to do during that time.  Well…the best thing to do during that time is actually to sleep.  Your body is going to be exhausted from getting up early and working hard, so take naps at any part of the day.  Napping will not only allow your body to recover but it will also give your mind a break so you can be at your best mentally and physically for the next session.

Tip 7: Get to know the other athletes!

Pre-season is a great time to get to know the other athletes because it is one of the only times when everyone on campus is involved in a sport.  They understand what you are going through during the school year with balancing classes and sports.  They are going through the same things such as being exhausted at the end of the day, missing some campus activities because of a game, and not always knowing the happenings of campus because of practice.  Also, they will be the ones you look to for study groups and notes.  So, get to know other athletes around campus.

Tip 8: Invest in a good alarm clock

This one seems silly since everyone has a phone with an alarm clock on it; however, you DO NOT want to be the person who comes late to the 6 a.m. practice. The amount of times the whistle is blown for sprints because someone slept through their alarm and came late to an early session is not a joking matter.  So, if you tend to be a person that hits snooze or doesn’t hear your alarm, get an alarm clock that gets you out the door.

Tip 9: Eat Clean!

Now this seems like a weird thing to say to a bunch of athletes.  Why would athletes need to think about what they are eating?  We workout so we can eat.  Well, that is not actually the best thing for your body.  There is no need to eat three serving of ice cream at lunch unless you want to see mint chocolate chip all over the ground in the afternoon.  Make healthy choices for your body this week with lots of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.  This is a good habit to get into for the rest of the year as well.

Tip 10: Make time for Devos!

These tips are not in order of importance, and if they were, this one would be first.  You are going to be sweaty, dirty, and tired at the end of the day and will not want to leave the floor after finally making it up the stairs to your dorm room.  However, make the time for your devotions.  It is so important to stay in the Word.  Pre-season is hard.  There is no getting around that nor are there helpful tips that will make that fact different.  Yet, Christ is always there ready to give encouragement through His Word, to hear your prayers that the coach’s whistle will somehow break, and even to wipe the tears of those who did not make the first or second string on the team.  Do not skip out on Christ this pre-season!

This isn’t a tip, it’s a must.

Talk to your coach. Share any questions or concerns. And, don’t hesitate to follow up with the Athletic Department at Geneva College (geneva.edu/athletics/ or call 855.979.5563). You’re in good hands with the folks at Geneva. I know, I was with them for four years!

By Hannah R Beckhusen ‘16