The competitive nature as well as change in environment contributes to what is a notable transition from high school athletics into the National Collegiate American Association.
Collegiate athletics require a higher level of commitment from an individual than what they have previously experienced in a high school setting.
The talent pool in the NCAA is even among team members. While some freshmen may have been the star athlete on their high school team, they normally will find themselves at the same level as or even below their teammates.
There is always the constant pressure for any college athlete to consistently perform and continue to surpass previous goals. A freshman coming into this environment can be taken aback but it can also be exhilarating and encouraging for them to improve.
Alysa Avila, freshman undeclared major and cross country runner, said, “When I first heard about camp, I was immediately nervous about how I was going to keep up, but the team was so encouraging and always gets the best out of us.”
Not only is the demand for the student athlete to perform at a higher level of play, but to perform at a higher level of academia. While the sport demands a major time commitment to training and playing, the athlete needs to maintain the requirements academically in order to be eligible to play.
Rachel Witz, freshman undeclared major and midfield soccer player, understands that it may be difficult to balance both her sport and her academics.
“Obviously college classes are a more difficult task to take on but we’ve all played at a high level and been able to balance out school and soccer, so we know it’s possible to overcome; just something we’ll have to adjust to and really focus on,” she said.
The transition for freshmen is a difficult one and necessary if they want to succeed. Coming in physically in shape, mentally strong and ready to perform will benefit them.