Athlete on a Team: ENJOY YOURSELF!

One of the perks of being in college is that you get to meet a lot of people that you would not normally meet otherwise.  During your off-season, not only concentrate on improving your skills, but take time to enjoy yourself with others.  Associations with key people can help make your college life fun and exciting, along with contributing to your personal growth and development.

  A person, alone off in college, isolated with few quality friendships and support systems, has a limited chance of personal growth and enjoyment.

As a college athlete, you have a limited amount of time during your season to socialize.  Therefore, most of your friendships, outside of your teammates, will probably develop during the off-seasons.  These friendships, along with those with your teammates, can be very important to the enjoyment of your college experiences.

Association with the right people is an efficient way to help with your personal growth and development.  The right people are those with the personal attributes, or are striving for the personal qualities that you are aspiring to get to, can help steer you in the direction towards success.  Each of you could be a gauge for the other.  That is, to keep each other on track.

So, I encourage you to:

Use this time to get to know your teammates outside of just playing and practicing.  Perhaps you all can explore the town.  Go places together and have clean fun.

Connect with your support systems, such as family and close friends.  These are the people that keep you mentally strong, energized, and motivated through the ups and downs of your college life.  So, spend some quality time with them.  Enjoy them.  Let them enjoy you.

Find out your likes and dislikes.  What do you enjoy doing?  What type of people you enjoy being around or having fun with?

Develop new friendships.  Get to know people in your classes. You never know what type of long term relationships you could develop.

One last thing.

Evaluate all friendships.

Remember, you’re seeking friendships of those with character traits that you’re aspiring to have for success in every part of your life.   Those like honor and respecting people, being responsible, and being unselfish.

Enjoy yourself!  These can be some of the best years of your life!

Tell me how you’re enjoying yourself.

Let me know at Athlete’s Voice to Integrity (

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Letters to the College Athlete: Are you a PUPPET?

As you are discovering your identity, make note of character traits in others that are not in agreement with what you are trying to establish as your identity.  Be aware that if you do not know who you want to be, then others can make you into who they want you to be.  You will be vulnerable to the manipulation of others – a puppet.

“You shouldn’t wear your hair like that!” 

“This is the big city, Country Girl.  Everybody don’t speak to each other like that.  You ain’t in the country anymore.”

“You weren’t here, but I knew it would be okay to come in your room and play your radio.”

“Let me have that, you don’t need it.  You got a lot of them.”

These are not things that a person who honors and respects you would do or say to you.

If you do not know who you are, you will be subjected to being psychologically pulled in different directions away from your personal and career goals by people.  These people do not have your best interests at heart.  Some will want to control you, not for your benefit but for theirs.

This will affect your happiness and self-worth, because you will begin to feel like what matters to you is not important, or you will lose sight of what matters to you and what you want.  You will become overwhelmed with what others want and their happiness.  This is a hindrance to you discovering your identity.

You do not want to establish this type of pattern for yourself through your college career and beyond.

Respect means that you value someone, consider them, which includes their space and property.  It does not mean that you place them above your own worth.  It does not mean that you should accept harsh treatment from others, which includes violation of personal space and name calling.

By knowing exactly what honoring and respecting people is, you will also know the boundaries associated with it and recognize when you are not being honored and respected.  So begin by knowing what it means to honor and respect people the right way and discover the boundaries associated with this concept to protect your well-being.

Being a college athlete, you already have many things that demand your attention.  It is important for you to discover your identity so that you will not be a puppet for others.

I encourage you to find your identity by learning the boundaries and what exactly it means to honor and respect people.  Apply that meaning to gauge how people are treating you, and monitor those who try to distort the true meaning of honoring and respecting people.

How do you know when people are not honoring and respecting you?  Let me know how you gauge.  Like me at