I will never forget the day my parents dropped me off at Oregon State University. I was scared and excited all at the same time. New people, new gym, new classes and new coaches. Would I be good enough? Would I be able to do well in school? Would I be homesick? The college coach understands that this is going on inside of a freshman, but they still has expectations that you need to fulfill. Here are just a few:
- Come in doing the skills you had as a club competitor
- Be fit and ready to go. You will often receive a conditioning plan from your college coach the summer before you arrive on campus. Be sure to follow it!
- Mentally, be ready to fight for a spot in the line-up
- Stay focused on your academics, your GPA affects you and your team
- Communicate with your new teammates and coaches
- Remember you represent your university and athletic department in everything you do. As an athlete you are under a microscope. It is a responsibility to take seriously
Being a part of a team is like an automatic "family" when you arrive. This family is a very tight unit that hopefully is moving in the same direction throughout the year. I often told my teams "we are only as strong as our weakest link". Don't be the weak link! While freshman do go through a lot of transitions, it is important to stay focused on your goals and take things one day at a time. Your coach will appreciate this and your season will go much smoother!
About Jill Hicks:
Jill Hicks is a former elite gymnast, Division I college athlete, club coach and Division I college gymnastics coach (Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State) and the owner of Jill Hicks Consulting, where she provides recruiting services and choreography for prospective student-athletes and their families. For further information visit: www.jhicksconsulting.com
Editor's Note: Publication of this article is not an endorsement of any recruiting service. Always check with the NCAA or your school's compliance officer for any questions regarding recruiting rules, the latest timelines, or other issues.