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Playing at the College Level

Elisabeth Rockhill

Being presented with the opportunity to play the sport you love at the college level is not something that many get to experience. Only about seven percent of high school athletes go on to play a sport in college, which is definitely a select few. Playing a sport in college as well as being a full time student can at times be a very difficult task, but the memories you will make throughout your four years of collegiate athletics are moments that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Deciding my junior year of high school to continue to play soccer in college was one the best decisions I have ever made: It has shaped me into the individual I am today through the experiences I’ve had and the self-development I have gone through.  

One of the major things I instantly learned beginning college soccer was that communication is a must. I never was much of a vocal person while playing soccer in high school, but college soccer really forced me to break out of my shell. The speed of college soccer is so much faster than high school, and it is a must that you communicate to your teammates about the ways in which you want to play. Communication with your coach is also very important, for that will only benefit your overall experience. Whether it is asking for clarification on something or talking about ways you can improve as a player, having a one on one conversation with your coach is always a good idea.  

Playing a sport and being a full-time student at the same time drastically improved my time management skills as well. Especially when you are in season playing games, there is not much free time available for you to be doing nothing. I had to make sure to plan out when I was going to complete my schoolwork around my practices, lifts, and games. At times this was difficult, for most of the time I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep, but I managed to get it done. In a way, being busy all of the time can be a good thing, for you don’t have time to have negative thoughts or be doing activities that may not be beneficial to you.  

The aspect of college athletics that I will always appreciate the most is the memories I have made over the years with my teammates. I have been fortunate enough to have two different college experiences and create lasting friendships with my teammates at both Coastal Carolina and Mount St. Mary’s. The bus rides, times I have spent with my teammates in the locker room, those are the times that you will remember when your college career is over. A piece of advice I can give to anyone in high school thinking about playing a sport in college is that it is so worth itand you will create bonds and memories that you will not be able to find anywhere else.  

Elisabeth Rockhill