Loving the sport that you play at the college level  

A while back there was a comment on Recruiting-101 talking about the potential to play college basketball. What struck me as out of place regarding this post was the fact that the person said “he is not really into the basketball scene but think that it is something that he could play in college.” After having played four years of college basketball myself, I find a big problem with that comment.

No matter what sport you play at the college level, the time you are going to have to put in is intense. It doesn’t matter if it Division III, Junior College, or Division I, each player and coach involved logs a ton of hours. And unless it is something that you are going to be into, it may not be a good move to even consider playing it.

At the Division III level of basketball, lets say that you practice for two hours each day for six days a week. That is twelve hours a week from somewhere around October 15th until at least late February (That depends on how good your team is and when your conference tournament is). If all you do is practice those two hours per day, six hours per week, that is 192 hours of basketball.

That doesn’t count watching film, lifting weights for basketball, extra shooting, going to the training room, and talking to the coaches. That is the very minimum of things that you would have to do. For me, unless I really love something, there is no possible way that I can spend 192 hours playing a sport that I am not really into.

This holds true for all sports and is not just a basketball thing. In order to play college athletics, even at the non scholarship Division III level, you have to log a lot of time to be able to get on the court or the field. So unless you heart is totally into that sport, you are going to be wasting your time. I can promise you that this is going to be a lot more serious than playing the sport in high school. The coaches will be more demanding and the class work will take up more of your time as well.

One story that I want to bring up was an athlete who is in the process of following his heart. He was a small school standout in football and basketball but grew up loving hoops. He was a little undersized for basketball but had the perfect frame for football. This athlete started focusing more on the recruiting attention for football and ended up with multiple Division II scholarship offers.

But instead of taking the money, his heart was in basketball. He turned down the Division II schools and decided on playing Junior College basketball. It may not have been the best choice in terms of dollars and cents but this athlete followed his heart. I hope he is able to end up at a great school following his Junior College run because few athletes would have the determination and focus to do that.

With many senior football players and athletes from all sports making decisions over the next month, it is vital that you make sure you know what you are getting into at the college level.  These coaches will be pushing you until they can’t push you anymore.  They are going to make you into the best athlete that they can but it definitely won’t be easy.  And if you want to excel, then you are going to have to put in extra time and hours.

I would take a long look in the mirror before signing up with a school.  I have seen it first hand with an athlete going to play a sport at the Division III level and she had doubt going into the process.  Once you get to the hard part of the preseason, that doubt continues to get louder and louder in your mind.  Every little thing that goes wrong will only make it worse.  And while it is great to try something, if you know there is an issue going in, then it may be best not to do it in the first place.

The moral of this article is that unless you can fake your way through hours everyday of something you don’t enjoy, you need to love the sport you play at the college level.



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