Happy New Year!
We joke about it: the gym membership that will eventually disappear, the dream of eating right, getting all your homework done on time, sticking to that off-season workout regimen to develop your skills. There are a lot of lofty expectations around New Year’s resolutions.
And there are, definitely, many times that we fall short in our resolutions.
But as high school student-athletes, setting goals and working against them isn’t just a matter of telling our friends our loftiest dreams, and then forgetting about them. The goals we set as New Year’s resolutions – if they’re reasonable, and manageable – can help us along in the recruiting process.
If you haven’t thought about the kind of goals that might make you a better match for college roster openings and scholarship opportunities, check out some of the possibilities below.
Make New Year’s resolutions about getting things done in time
Whether it’s filling out the FAFSA or reaching out to college coaches like you’ve promised you would, there are so many tasks to accomplish — and, it seems, just as many reasons not to work on any of them. Sound familiar? Maybe one of the New Year’s resolutions for student-athletes below will help:
What are the tasks you have ahead of you? When are they due? How can you keep track of them so you won’t miss due dates?
In what ways can you chunk these tasks out into manageable goals: writing five emails to college coaches one night, studying 20 ACT prep questions the next, etc.
What baby steps can you take to improve your time management, work on procrastinating less, being more proactive?
Make New Year’s resolutions about making steady progress, every day
Coach Sue Enquist says something that I find incredibly beautiful: Every time she speaks to student-athletes, she finishes with this phrase:
Make yourself one percent better today.
It can get overwhelming if we look at where we want to be – someone who completes every jump shot, someone who can beat a goal time or gets a hat trick. But if we break it down into one skill, one area where we can improve one percent every day, we can improve ourselves as athletes.
What is a new skill you want to pick up? How can you go about doing it?
What is an area of your game you know you need to improve? How can you focus on that one area until you have it down?
How are you going to improve yourself by one percent, every day?
Make New Year’s resolutions about being an even better person
Student-athletes are more than just students, and more than just athletes. We’re leaders: on the field, in the classroom and in the community. But for every college-bound student-athlete, there’s always room to improve.
So much of the college recruiting process is in trying to quantify the immeasurable: who are you as a person? What is a college like beyond its win-loss record? (What will it be like to actually be a member of that roster, and interact with the other players, and the coach?) Answer one of the following questions to work on improving yourself as a student-athlete and as a person, so you’ll have even more going for you in your college search process.
How can you develop your sportsmanship, every practice and every match?
How can you be more searchable, more professional, more of an ideal student-athlete in your digital profile? (Hint: we can help with this.)
How do your extracurricular activities show that you care about giving back to your local community?