Paperwork – All docs and forms needed for college and financial aid.
Get classes in order – (They fill up quickly)
Vacation – (Best time is in June or Early July
Set up a training schedule.
Play in a summer league if possible (The higher the level the better)
Arrive early on campus and set everything up, get situated and get familiar with facilities and processes.
Learn where wellness or training center is and use it as much as possible. This is going to be your go to place when dealing with all your health/injury challenges.
Learn where the cafeteria is, (if there is a nutrition program for athletes) and put in system to best feed and hydrate your body.
Know where all training facilities are and how long it takes to get there from dorms or classes. You do not want to be late.
MEET RETURN PLAYERS.
Engage, ask questions, create relationships, get to know other players like and dislikes and use that to your advantage, be of service, serve others, volunteer.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You will be aske to do many things you may not like. Do them and do them well.
With coaching staff, with teammates, with advisors and professors.
You may get home sick and that is ok. Start support groups with other incoming first year players and support each other through the difficult times.
You must learn to stand out in positive ways, not negative.
Always be early to team activities and greet coaches.
Always contribute when asked and volunteer.
Be respectful, communicate, loss the elite attitude.
Best ways to stand out on the field, communicate, being vocal, always work hard, do not quit.
Be laser focused, when you have a bad training session let your personality, work ethic, team first attitude shine. Be confident and show it all the time without being cocky.
You can be confident in yourself even when you are lacking a skill and do not know something. “You are confident that you will work hard to acquire or improve that skill.”
You can not fake attitude and it will show.
Doing enough to just get by
Excluding yourself or hiding from everyone.
This is one of the most important aspects, not only of your college experience but life in general. As one gets older responsibilities and task increase drastically while timelines get shorter.
You must learn how to maximize your time, find ways to minimize unnecessary time-wasting situations and get all your activities scheduled before doing fun entertaining activities. BTW those activities have their place in life as well and are needed to reenergize, but they must be prioritized.
Reality is that depending on what college you attend you will have daily classes, daily training, daily homework, travel for games and try to manage a social life. Unless you have good management skills you will get overwhelmed cause a domino effect which could affect your on-field performance, your student life and completely derail your mind set.
A great way to deal with all these balls and find balance is to find a counselor or mentor. This could be simply someone who has been through it already knows how to deal with it and possibly has systems and plans on how to be successful.
Simply put it could be one of the returning players who has current experience and is in the grind.
Always try to model yourself after someone who has done it before and is successful.
OFF SEASON PROGRAM
Maintaining quality habits and systems learned through the season.
Stick to a year-round conditioning program, usually given by coaching and training staff.
Prepare for spring training.
Create and maintain a schedule, process and system that will keep you in focus mode your round.
Join activities. Usually, teams organize activities and create chemistry and bonding opportunities.
Finding common ground with your teammates will help in so many ways and enhance your college experience.
This is a massive advantage that team student/ athletes have over individual non athlete students.
If you would like and have more time available join other activities or groups on campus. Learn to go out of your way to explore and have fun.
Remember that the past is the past. You may have been at the top of the mountain in the environment you came from but so were all the others on your new team.
Now you are starting all over and must prove yourself all over. Nothing will be given or handed to you.
Elite players find ways to always adopt and get familiar with new situations.
They are comfortable with being a follower before they become leaders.
A good leader must know how to follow as well.
It all starts and ends with mindset, attitude, preparation.
Then add managing expectations and creating a time schedule.
Lastly you must show up everyday and play all out.
That is sports life, student athlete life, champions life.
Champion your life every single day.
Niko is someone who believes passionately that futsal should be intentionally used as a tool for developing soccer players year-round and come first in the developing process at the younger starter age groups of 3-12 years of age. He has a massive amount of experiences, observations, thoughts and ideas from being submerged in the futsal community as a player, coach and operations director waiting to be released that could truly benefit the futsal community as well as the soccer coach that is just getting into the futsal methodology as a soccer development tool as well as the futsal game itself