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So, you've been recruited, or made it past a walk-on tryout. That's when the real challenge starts. You still have to make it through daily practices, and several rounds of cuts. A college team practice is far more
physical than high school, because the players are so much better. Returning players are put through their
paces, run drills, lift weights, and do the running that comes with being on the team. Freshman and walk-ons,
on the other hand, are special targets for the coaching staff, looking to test their ability. They are forced to run
sprints and do agility drills, to see who's ready to quit before the game even starts.
Some players quit sports because they can't make the grade academically, after heavy lifting, running and long practices. Away games only add to the time commitment of being a student-athlete. Others quit because they
are sick of getting their butts whipped on a daily basis. What you're left with after the dust settles, is the real
team. Those are the folks you lift with, and often live with as well. To succeed in practice, and actually make
the team, here are some rules to follow. Sure, you knew most of these, but do you actually do them?
Stay in great shape, even through the off-season. Being physically fit includes knowing your diet, staying healthy, and not overworking your body before big games. Practice the basics, over and over, especially targeting skills related to your position. Become a super-specialist, and you'll always find your place on the team. Get along with your team members, and don't hog the ball. This doesn't mean you have to be buddies with everybody, but don't make enemies either. If you help the players around you to do better, you'll be surprised at how good that makes you look. Keep your eyes on the ball. Sacrifice your body if you must, but don't drop the ball. Watch the ball all the way into your hands, and get a good initial grip. Your sixth sense needs to be developed to stay aware of other players at the same time. Know that giving anything less than 100% effort will be resented by the team. Follow the advice that coaches give you, and it will make a big difference in how you play. Most coaches were star players at some point in their careers.
Always maintain a positive attitude, especially when you're in pain, or losing a game. Be a good sport, and keep trying. Believe you'll be successful, act like you'll get the job done, and then go out and make it happen. Be aggressive, and make a 2nd try on a given play if you have time. It's one thing to make a good effort, but great players keep trying until they succeed, no matter how many years of practice that takes. If you get lazy, and decide to take it easy during practice, coaches will take notice. Push yourself, work hard, and you'll improve as a player. Find a position you really like to play, not just settle for what you're good at. Over the long haul, you'll have a better career. Be aware of your competition. There are plenty of people who want the same position you do, and if you want to start, you'll have to be the best at your position.
NCAA Sports - Direct Links
You don't have to quarterback the university football team to a state championship to earn an athletic scholarship. Most major sports that field a team in intercollegiate competition have sports scholarships available. From women's gymnastics to men's track and field, coaches are seeking players to build a team around. Further, that leadership role often is accompanied by a full-scholarship. The best time to begin searching for scholarships is before your senior year, in order to meet deadlines. Schools confirm that it is important to file financial aid forms such as the CSS Profile early in the school year.
There are several free scholarship databases available online. With more than 1.5 million scholarships worth more than $3.4 billion, the FastWeb.com
scholarship search is the largest, most accurate and most frequently updated sports scholarship database. It's never too early to start planning for a sports scholarship. There are many scholarships that focus on less tangible qualities, such as the ability to lead a team, motivate others, and learn new skills rapidly. Take stock of your athletic abilities as you mature through high-school.
Orthopedics, the strength of bone:
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Every student needs to purchase health insurance
, and that goes double for student-athletes. Sports injuries that require immediate treatment include the following conditions.
Athletic Training Exercises
In the weight room, don't be fooled by players who are always pumping iron. It takes a lot more than big muscles to
succeed in college sports. Players are becoming more agile, and developing superior game skills every year. You need to develop muscle strength as well, it's true, but your primary focus in weight training should be to use the equipment to help you develop strength along a natural range of motion. If your school doesn't have advanced machinery in the weight room, you're better off using free weights, and pulley systems that allow you to copy the same motions you make when playing. A few simple exercises done right can replace thousands of dollars of weight-room equipment. Good, old-fashioned push-ups, with a clap in the air every other rep, will do wonders to increase your chest and triceps. Chin-ups will increase your biceps, and pull-downs will bring out your lats.
Track stars have revealed the secret to developing running speed. Most athletes simply run out of breath long before they need to stop running, because they aren't able to get the oxygen into their muscles fast enough. By taking deep breaths, and building up the supply of oxygen in your blood, you can prevent muscle cramps. As lactic acid builds up, and muscle fatigue sets in, untrained players think they've reached their limit. Track stars, and well-coached basketball teams, train by sprinting short distances, over and over. It's not fun, but it works. After a few months of training, the lungs begin to process oxygen more efficiently, and players find that they can run long distances non-stop, or sprint for a longer period of time. To improve your endurance for long-distance running, drag a small car tire behind you, tied onto a long rope around your waist.