6 Tips for Dealing With the Mental Stress of Your First College Season
You've made it, you got recruited after four long years of hard work during your high school and Club soccer career.
You're living the dream, out on your own in the world for the first time, playing college soccer, meeting new people and experiencing new things, when you're suddenly overwhelmed by the stress your studies and athletics are putting on your capacities.
Here are 6 ideas for coping with the mental stress of your first college soccer season.
1. Treat Your Body Like a Temple
If your falling victim to anxiety and unwanted mental stress, trying to find a balance between your new found independence, being a collegiate athlete, and keeping up your studies, it's absolutely critical that that you take care of your body and treat it like a fine-tuned machine.
This means getting enough sleep, eating right, and making sure you don't overdue your extracurriculars.
2. Don't Procrastinate
Becoming a collegiate athlete is great honor, and if you want to keep that standing, you're going to have to keep up your studies or the plain and simple truth is you won't be eligible to set foot on a pitch.
Don't procrastinate. Stay dedicated to your books the same way you approach your training and preparation on the field.
3. Remember Why You Love the Game
It can be easy for some players to fall out of love with the game when there is so much on their plate, intense practices, homework, the social scene, etc., so it's important that you remember why you are so passionate about the beautiful game in the first place.
Rediscover the joy you find when you knock a ball around, the feeling you get when you make a great tackle, or score a great goal, these are the moments you worked so hard to enjoy.
4. Stay Connected to Family
When you start to hit a wall and feel like you're drowning, stay connected to your family and your roots.
There's nothing more important then confiding and gaining strength from the loved ones who helped get you there in the first place, so no matter how far away from home you find yourself, don't be afraid to connect with mom or dad, uncle or aunt, big brother or sister, let them know what you're going through and they can likely offer some great advice for getting back on track.
5. Ask for Help
The college environment is meant to be supportive, you are joining a new family of coaches, teachers, and friends, so don't ever hesitate from sharing what you're going through with a coach or teacher at your new school.
You're not the first college student to struggle with finding the balance between sports and studies. Coaches and teachers are your best mentors in college, it doesn't make you weak to ask for help or share your struggles, and it might just save your first season.
6. Live Your Dream
Don't forget that you're living your dream, you worked hard enough to play college soccer, you studied long enough to get accepted on your educational merit, you made it and have to recognize that this vision you had for yourself has been made reality by all your efforts and hard work!
Make the most of it, you won't get time back at the end of your journey, and it's important to cherish and enjoy what you worked so hard to achieve.