Preparing for College Level Sports - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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College Preparation
June 29, 2016

Preparing for College Level Sports

Does your routine consist of waking up from the dream where you are the game MVP, eating breakfast fueled for your work-out, followed by being the last athlete to leave the team practice, and then finally returning home to rest/recharge/refuel your body to start all over again the next day?  If this sounds like your life and you want to compete at the college level, below are a few must read items as you prepare to transition through summer to your freshman year of college.

Summer Conditioning

Conditioning programs can be very intense in college, so it is important to get a head start during the summer months. Your conditioning routine will vary based on which sports you're involved in, but in general, it's best to get a good cardio workout at least four days a week -- and get into the weight room whenever possible. If you don't have access to weight room equipment, there are still plenty of conditioning exercises you can complete from the comfort of your own home.

Your coach may give you a packet of exercises to work on during the off-season, but if you don't receive this information, feel free to ask for help. Coaches like to see athletes taking the initiative, and a good coach will happily let you know how to physically prepare your body for the next grueling season.

Flexibility and Mobility

Strength training is essential, of course, but many athletes fail to recognize the importance of flexibility training, which is just as vital. Stretching can be used not only to prevent injury, but also to increase range of motion, thereby improving performance in a wide range of sports. Getting in the habit of stretching can be difficult, particularly when you are mired in schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Build this vital habit during the summer months, when you have more time available to make great strides with your flexibility.

Nutrition

As you prepare for college-level athletics, you will want your body to be in peak condition. This means eating right and drinking plenty of water. If you develop good eating habits during the summer months, you will find it far easier to maintain discipline when faced with cafeteria food and late-night pizza offerings.

Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day (ideally more), as well as 0.75 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. Hydration is equally important; aim to drink between half an ounce and one full ounce of water per pound of body weight.  Empty calories found in chips, candy and sodas do nothing to help fuel the body.  Eat clean and stay lean to perform in peak condition.

Develop The Right Mindset

There is more to being a student athlete than simply having a strong body. A good mindset is also essential. This means being able to take criticism with grace. As you prepare for college athletics, think long and hard about the mental challenges you'll face, and create a plan for overcoming these obstacles. Develop stress management strategies (such as prayer or yoga) that you can rely on when the going gets tough. Be sure to also think about the spiritual side of athletics. During every competition, match, or meet, your goal should be not just to win, but also to honor God and the talents He afforded you. 

Athletic participation is definitely rewarding, but it can also be stressful, particularly for those transitioning from high school to the college environment. Fortunately, any anxiety regarding college athletics can be eased with a little planning and a lot of preparation.

Geneva College understands the challenges and rewards college level athletics can provide.  Approximately 60 percent of Geneva students are involved in a sports program. What’s more is that many college athletes report that Geneva's athletic programs help them make new friends and avoid the dreaded freshman 15.

For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your academic and athletic goals, contact us at 855-979-5563 or admissions@geneva.edu.

Sources:

http://www.ussportscamps.com/tips/international/tips-a-parents-role-in-preparing-student-athletes-for-college

http://www.stack.com/a/how-to-prepare-for-college-sports