As a high school athlete with strong natural abilities and a competitive mindset, it’s understandable that you may be thinking about going pro at some point in the future. Unfortunately, without the right guidance and work ethic, the odds of you making the big leagues in any sport are highly improbable. Ideally, you’ll be able to catch the attention of talent scouts that will recruit you to play for a college, thereby granting you a scholarship and taking care of your education as well. If that sounds like a path you’re interested in heading down, consider the following five tips to help make your dream a reality.
1. Proactively Search for a Scholarship
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First and foremost, you want to be recognized by regional or national scouts, as having one or more scholarship offers on the table at once would be an optimal scenario. In a sense, your ability to earn the scholarship will be like a pre-screening of your talents and an indicator of whether going pro is a realistic goal for you to have. Of course, if you’re having a hard time getting a college to pick you up, then you might not be athletically ready to make a career push in the sport. However, you also have the option of using a site like Athletes-USA.com to network with thousands of sports universities in a proactive manner rather than just waiting for a random scout to take notice.
2. Make the Sport Your Job
To truly prepare yourself for the pros and build up a skill level that’s worthy of making a draft, you’ll need to start treating the sport like a part-time or full-time job. That’s not to say that you should overexert yourself, but even while you’re not able to physically play you should be studying or thinking about the sport throughout the day.
3. Don’t Play Too Aggressively
One of the biggest mistakes made by the up-and-coming high school and college athletes is a forceful or overzealous play to the point of causing injury. An untold number of would-be stars have fallen to injuries that occurred during school or practice games. Because of that, they never even got to start their professional careers. Don’t be the guy who pretends a pickup game at the YMCA is Game seven of the Finals until you wind up overdoing it and pulling, straining, or breaking something before your prime. Focus on fundamentals and get your stats up with minimal physical contact to preserve your body and prevent injuries.
4. Eat a 5-Star Diet
Without an optimal diet, you’ll actually be harming your body by participating in such grueling workouts and competitions on a regular basis. You need a complete, balanced, and full diet with the perfect amount of proteins, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. If you’re still eating processed foods or a random diet, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
5. Sleep Eight Hours Per Night
Finally, this might seem like an obvious tip, but for many student-athletes, it’s easier said than done when you factor in studying and socializing. A good night’s sleep should literally be at the top of your list of priorities every night, especially on nights before games.
6. Bonus Tip: Build Discipline and Focus
As an extra tip to help you excel ahead of the competition, practice meditation and spend time building mental toughness. There more you can zone in on the task at hand, the easier it will be to handle in-game pressure when it’s your time to shine.