Transitioning from high school to college is a big jump. The difficulties and obstacles in secondary school to post-secondary sports are no different.
Bigger crowds of people with fewer familiar faces, alongside having to balance a larger workload, can be challenging for many rookies.
Kassandra Genova, a first-year General Arts and Science student and the newest winger to the Hawks women’s soccer team, said athletes shouldn’t be hard on themselves.
“Don’t count yourself out,” she said. “Don’t let others affect your mindset, play for you, and play the sport you love.”
Genova said when she arrived on the team, she faced the challenge of fitting into a new environment and system while feeling like she had something to prove to everyone else.
“You may feel uncomfortable or out of place sometimes, but these are just feelings and they don’t define you as a player,” Genova said.
She said that includes building solid relationships with veteran teammates and coaches is important. Being able to learn and grow from more knowledgeable people is one of the best ways to become a more valuable player and teammate while making the transition into college sports much smoother.
The intensity of play in college sports is much greater than that of the high school game. Thus, practices and training sessions in college are much more extreme.
Coaches and trainers will take workouts and training to levels beyond the basic high school practice regiment.
College sports is the next stepping stone for young prospects to make it to the professional sports leagues. For Humber athletes, the ability to maintain high performance while also maintaining high academic excellence is essential.
Ezequiel Carrasco Ayala, a third-year veteran goalie for the Humber men’s soccer team, said he stresses the importance of keeping fit and healthy for the sport you play but never forgetting about school work.
“We all have lifts and recoveries and training sessions, but at the end of the day, we are student-athletes, so you have to put that student first,” he said.
Carrasco Ayala said rookies should take the initiative with their work and build a good rapport with their teachers by showing up to class and letting them know the sports schedule so that together, they can manage tests and assignments more reasonably.
“Another big thing, definitely practice time management,” he said. “Make sure you allocate a place and a time to study and do your work.”