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What are some ways to help prepare myself for the transition between high school sports and college sports?

I’m asking because I recently signed with a college swim team to swim with them, and I’m not sure how to prepare myself for the drastic changes between high school swim and college swim. I want to do what I can to be mentally and physically prepared so that I can represent the school to the best of my ability, and be able to handle the stress of the athletics and the academics and still be able to achieve my personal goals, as well as team goals. #collegeathletics #college #collegesports


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Alison’s Answer

Hi Madison! To echo the comments above, congratulations on becoming a collegiate athlete. It is a tremendous honor that you should be extremely proud of. I was a Division I college athlete and understand your concerns. While participating in a sport does demand a lot of time, your college class schedule will look significantly different than your high school schedule. Instead of taking classes for 8+ hours a day, college courses only require about 3-4 hours a day. This leaves a lot more time to work on schoolwork, swim some extra laps, or spend time with friends. Additionally, most colleges offer excellent academic help specifically for athletes. Reach out to your coach or athletic, academic advisor for more details. You can manage both just make sure to use your free time wisely. I actually found that I performed better academically in-season because I was more diligent at managing my time and took advantage of the free time I did have to get ahead.


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Rachel’s Answer

Hi Maddison! I too was a college athlete. Time management is the key! College sports take a lot more time and commitment than high school sports did. During season you pretty much do everything with your team from practice to eating to traveling. Make sure you set aside time for your studying and homework and utilize down time like when traveling with the team on a bus. Not sure what college you will be at but most universities have tutoring opportunities and study groups so utilize those resources as well. It can be tough as a freshman to want to go out with friends a lot but you need to prioritize your schoolwork and swimming if that is what important to you. Using a planner always helped me. I would schedule my study times into my planner to hold me accountable.

Rachel recommends the following next steps:

Get a planner!
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Put all practices and meets into the planner ahead of time.
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Schedule time in your planner for studying and homework.
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Utilize campus resources such as study groups and tutoring.
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Utilize down time during the season such as travel time with the team for studying and homework.
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Rachel - Thank you for your answer. We need more advice like this, now more than ever! There are more than 1k unanswered questions on CV right now. Hoping you'll answer a few more this week! Jordan Rivera COACH

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Jennifer L.’s Answer

Hello! First of all congrats! Signing as a college athlete is a tremendous honor and speaks highly of your scholastic and athletic acumen. My daughter is a Division I athlete and currently a sophomore in college. She also has a learning disability. I have found from her experience that using the support services, tutoring, team study time, and time management have all been extremely beneficial to her. Developing great relationships with your instructors and communicating your travel schedule well in advance is also super important. You also need to develop strong relationships with non-athletes who you trust to take good notes while you are traveling. Good luck!

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