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To the Freshman... High School and College

By: Griffin Morgan

Hey! Guess what!! You're the new kid again. That's right, last year you were the big man on campus, but now it's time to start all over again. Whether you are a freshman in high school or a freshman in college, you are going to have to make an impression and prove yourself again. Don't worry it's not as intimidating as you might think. Just follow these steps, and you will be fine.

1.) Out Work EVERYONE!!

"You can only control what you can control." Do you know who said that? My dad and probably every successful person, ever. The truth is that as a freshman almost everyone else is probably bigger, faster, stronger, and even more skilled than you, but that's OK. You can't control how blessed someone else is. You can only control yourself, and the biggest thing you can control is how hard you work.

To work harder than everyone doesn't mean that you are going to be better than everyone or beat everyone in sprints or the mile. What it means is that you put the most effort into everything you do. Give 100% every time you step on the field, court, or wherever else you are practicing. Be the first one to show up for practice and the last one to leave. Talk to your coaches and ask them what you need to do to improve.

Nobody is successful at what they do unless they put the work in when it counts. How hard you work and your attitude are two of the most important things in life, and you can control both. A good coach notices hard work, and a great coach rewards it. Work hard, get things done, and relish the rewards when they come.

2.) Find Someone Better Than You and Beat Him

My freshman year of high school, I wanted to play forward for the varsity soccer team. The problem was that there was a senior in my position. Obviously I thought I was better than him because I was a freshman, and I was not as humble as I probably should have been. All through pre-season I just knew I would start over him, but when it came time for our first game he started, and I was on the bench.

Being the fourteen year old kid that I was, I decided to complain about it to my dad. I told him that I was better than the senior, and I should have been playing instead of him. My dad, who was a lot older and a whole lot wiser than I was said, "Son, I know nothing about soccer, but I do know that he is a lot better than you. If you want to start over him, you need to play better than him." He was blunt and I'm not gonna lie, that hurt a little bit, but he was right and deep down I knew it. The big question was how was I going to play better than him?

The answer to that question came to me later that night. I needed to find out why he was better than me and get better at those things. Now there was nothing I could really do about how much faster or stronger he was than me. After all, he was four years older. However, I could work on my foot skills, my shooting, and my passing. So I did. By the end of the season, I was better than him at all those things, and I got my chance to play. He had been sick all week so my coach started me over him. Since I had been preparing all season for that moment, I was ready. I ended up having the game of my life, and had my coach's attention for the rest of the year.

Moral of the story is this. Find someone better than you and do everything you can to beat them. Out work them, get to practice earlier and stay later because one day you will get your chance to outshine him, and you need to be ready to take it.

3.) Be a Good Teammate

There is nothing better than being on a team of people you get along with. I have been on teams where we are all best friends, and I've been on teams where it was basically individuals playing together. Trust me, there is a big difference in how we played. So what does it mean to be a good teammate and why does it matter?

As a freshman, it is most likely that you won't get much playing time with the varsity team, but that doesn't mean you won't have an impact. It is all about your attitude and willingness to be there for your teammates.

As far as I'm concerned a person's job on a team is to make his other teammates look good. This isn't just true for your freshman year; it's true even when you're a senior. If you are out there playing for yourself or looking out for yourself, it shows. As a teammate you should be selfless and think of the team and the end goal before you think about your stats. If you play with your team and teammates in mind before you think of yourself, it not only helps the team, but also helps you succeed as a player.

4.) Don't Be Afraid to Make Mistakes.. Just Have Fun

I will leave you with this last, and in my opinion, most important point. Have Fun!! Don't worry about not being the best your first year or making a mistake when you're playing. Everyone makes mistakes, and the ones who don't dwell on their mistakes are the ones who succeed. Mistakes are how you learn and how you become better, so go out there and enjoy the opportunity to play.

Being a freshman can be a little intimidating at first, especially when you have to compete against juniors and seniors. Don't be afraid to take chances, and make sure to work your tail off every opportunity you get. Your freshman year is one of the most important times in your career for development. So work hard, take your chances, and become the best player you can be.

Published Jun 22, 2017 2:30 pm