5 Biggest Challenges Players Face When Transitioning to College
There are always a few challenges you will likely face when you are transitioning to college. They are to be expected and can be seen as typical growing pains.
It can be difficult at first and some adjustments will take time. It’s easier to adjust when you know what some of the challenges you will be facing may be.
Here are the five biggest challenges players face when they are transitioning to college:
1. Greater expectations
Getting to college might feel like you’ve made it. You got there because someone saw something in you.
They chose you because of your skills or mindset or academics. Now you have to perform on the field and in the classroom.
2. Stress levels
There is always something going on at school. You either have practice, training, lifting, conditioning, physical therapy, class, tutoring, and it can feel like a lot to handle at first.
You also have a heavier workload of school and more rigorous athletics. A lot of the stress stems from the greater expectations that your coaches have for you.
3. Finding balance
Another challenge that goes along with the stress is finding your perfect balance. You will have a heavy schedule of classes and practices, but you also need to find time to unwind and take care of yourself. It’s important to do this so that you don’t get burned out.
You should get involved in other activities or hobbies so that you’re still excited to get the opportunity to go and play soccer everyday.
Instead of dreading practice, you should be excited to go. It’s about finding that healthy balance which can be difficult to do because of time constraints.
4. Unfamiliar setting
Usually when you go away to college, you won’t be as close to your friends and family. Your distance between you and your typical support system has increased. Now you have your teammates to lean on and you should definitely take advantage of it.
Being away from your parents and friends from home will take some getting used to. Some people get really homesick and others are completely unbothered by it.
5. Tougher competition
Everything is more difficult in college. You’re playing at a higher level. If you’re used to playing club, you were playing with and against people mainly the same age as you.
In college, with the ability to redshirt, you can end up as an 18 year old against a 24 year old. Age difference aside, these players will be faster, stronger, and more mentally involved than you are used to. You may not see as much playing time as you did before.
Sometimes the adjustment can feel like it’s too hard for you to handle on your own and that is when you should definitely talk with your coaches or advisors. However, for the most part these growing pains will pass and usually the best way to handle them is to embrace the challenge and face them head on.
If you do need help, however, do not hesitate to ask the people around you!