Many high school athletes who aspire to play in college believe that work ethic is measured by how diligently they train and then play their sport, and such measurement is subjective at best. They hear “Work hard!” from trainers, parents, and supporters. They keep hearing it over and over. That’s all well and good, but for the ambitious student-athlete, work ethic takes on a new connotation. It encompasses more than what you do in training and during a game, match, or competition. An athlete’s work ethic is defined by how they handle their sport prior, between, and after practice.
The mental commitment of an athlete is critical. Making the transition from high school to college athletics is difficult without a psychological buy-in. Those who do, succeed in the end. Those who don’t take action risk their ambitions becoming could-have-beens and should-have-beens.
There comes a time, a pivotal moment, when young athletes must choose whether or not to go all in. Will they be able to ignore the obstructions? Will they take ownership of their own destiny? Will they genuinely dedicate themselves to attaining something that only a few people will ever have the chance to do? Will they be able to find the motivation and devotion they need within themselves?
They can’t rely on their parents or coaches to help them. All the support, preparation, and opening doors in the world won’t make them reorient their minds. And, in the end, winning or losing are just gimmicks compared to what goes on within an athlete’s head when it comes to going ahead or staying put. Some people have it. Some of them don’t. Some people will give it a go. The exceptional few, on the other hand, will desire to dive deeper and deeper into their selves in order to get there. They are the athletes whose inner power shines out in the form of a remarkable work ethic.
And here’s what they’re going to do:
Always be early. To the athlete with a strong work ethic, being on time is bad, not because they just want to be seen as early as possible, but because they frantically want to get there. They are ecstatic to get started. They are aware that this may be the day that brings them one step closer to achieving their prime objective.
Pre-practice routine. When they first go on the circuit, field, or pitch, their first concern is to concentrate on the essentials. They have a regimen that helps them improve their basics. The repetition is not monotonous. Today’s challenge is to achieve excellence.
Have a practical approach. Constantly push yourself. A fantastic work ethic requires the athlete to work more at training than everyone else. They pay greater attention to their instructors’ instructions. They enter a state known as Practice Zone, in which precise execution of even the most basic drills is the motivating attitude.
Post-practice routine. Athletes that take the psychological leap to full dedication recognize that there is always room for improvement and that working hard enough might be the key to winning a game or receiving a scholarship offer. So, when everyone else has left, it’s down to basics once more. That considerable improvement might be achieved in another two, five, or ten minutes.
Academic work. Academics have to be a part of the athlete’s life on a regular basis. On a straight path, not a curved one, regular studying, revising the day’s course work, and prepping for the next day’s tasks are linked to athletics. So, the athlete with a strong work ethic will set aside time each day to study and, yes, even sacrifice other activities on weekends in order to get the high grades that will undoubtedly capture the attention of college coaches.