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College Athlete Survival Guide: 14 Steps to Thrive Part II (8-14)

If you haven’t read part I, check it out here!


8. The Golden Rule of Social Media

Here is the golden rule: If you would be proud to show the picture or comment to your athletic director, then post away. If not, don’t risk it.  

Here are more tips:

  • Be careful of the pictures/comments you post.
  • Make all of your social media accounts private.
  • NEVER take a picture with a drink in your hand. Even if the cup is filled with water. This is about perception.
  • Make good decisions: Social Media can be unforgiving. Don’t take pictures of you doing illegal or risky things. If the picture gets in the wrong hands, you will be reprimanded.
  • Don’t do drugs EVER…not worth it. It’s childish, it’s selfish, and it’s embarrassing.


9. Don’t Drink (often), Don’t Do Drugs (ever).

This is so important, I’ll mention it again. Your college athletic career is four very short years. Don’t risk ending it abruptly. You have worked too hard to get to where you are. You have the rest of your life to drink and party. If you are under 21 and drinking, it’s illegal anyway.


10. Getting Physical & Relationships.

3 months. Give yourself 3 months. You are way too busy adjusting to college life and getting a handle on being a college athlete that you don’t need to worry about sleeping with anyone or dating anyone within the first 3 months. I highly recommend making connections and getting to know people.

Socialize, have fun, meet people, hang out. Casually get to know someone is okay too but don’t devote all your free time to one thing or one person. By giving yourself 3-4 months to really get settled before pursuing romantic endeavors, you’ll be putting yourself and your team first. Romance and relationships will always find a way to blossom. I am not saying don’t get to know people you take an interest in. I am saying, move slowly and don’t invest all your time, energy and effort into a relationship.

You don’t want to be the person the rest of the athletic department is taking about. Avoid embarrassment and bad decisions by moving slowly with potential partners. As big as your school is, the athletic department is small and people will know your business. They will talk. Make sure your actions are truly aligned with who you are and what you want.

Making connections and get to know people & don't be the person everyone is taking about


11. Make Meal Time Your “Friend Time.”

It is important to develop superior time management skills as a new freshman. It’s all about making a plan, prioritizing and executing. When you are in season you will rarely see your friends, accept it and do your best to make time for fun and friends during meals. You have to eat anyway. This will be your best opportunity to develop your friendships when you are short on time.


12. Fend for Yourself.

You and your teammates will have a connection like no other. You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your teammates, they are like family. With that being said…you do not have an obligation to spend every moment, every class and every meal with them. You will spend a majority of your college experience with these people: practicing, competing, lifting, training, studying and traveling. Don’t feel guilty for exploring new groups, friends and classes.

Fending for yourself will make you a more well-rounded person, teammate and friend. This may take a little work and you may feel uncomfortable. Remember, comfort and growth cannot coexist.

You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your teammates, they're like family


13. Prioritize Your Life.

If you don’t already have a planner, get one. You NEED to get organized; you NEED to have your life in order. Life as a student is hard enough. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a planner and use it religiously. You have a lot to keep track of so don’t rely on your memory or your phone. Don’t procrastinate; you need to prioritize your life. Identify what things are moving you forward and what things to say no to. There will be a lot to juggle. Get over it, get organized and just do it.


14. Never Forget.

Don’t forget why you started playing your sport in the first place…because you love it. No program or coach can ever take that away from you. At times your sport will feel like a job, this is completely normal. It is easy to get caught up in winning, performance, pressure and obligation but at the end of the day it’s worth it and you will always remember how much you love the game and the memories you make.

Never forget why you play and who you play for. Blood, sweat, tears; every tough moment is worth it, I promise. Only a small percentage of the world’s population will achieve or experience what you are or about to go through. Be grateful. Leave a legacy. Persevere through all obstacles; you will be so glad you did and you will miss it dearly when it’s gone.

Make sure to read the first installment, with the other half of steps to thrive OR just download the free ebook NOW. If you’re a coach, recommend to all your players. If you’re a player, recommend to all your teammates and ensure to keep competing! 

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