Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Need to Keep Moving Forward

Let’s pretend you are a senior in high school working to get into college, finding a swim team that works for you while also finding a place you think you’d fit in for the next 4-5 years academically and socially. It can be and sometimes is a daunting challenge.  
After all, you get advice from so many corners of your universe. Everyone thinks they have the answer to all your questions. In fact they don’t have any answers at all. All they have are their opinions which are usually framed by either their own personal experiences or by those of friends and co-workers under whose influence they live.  
Now let’s say you finally figure it all out. You find a school that seems like it will provide you with an opportunity for a good education. (Remember that nearly all schools fit this part of the bill; the rest is up to you to take advantage of this opportunity)
Best of all this school has a swim team that seems as if it will meet your needs as well. Its program seems to be in line with your aspirations. It gives you room to grow without suffocating you yet isn’t so easy that it fails to challenge you. The coaches appear to have your best interests at heart while holding you to a level of expectations that will allow you the opportunity to improve.
Sounds like you have a winner. Congratulations! Now what?
You won’t actually get in that school and on that team until about 11months from now.
We ask you to look back where you were academically, socially and athletically 11 months ago. We bet there have been numerous changes. Consider that for a moment and then think about this question: what do you plan to do with the next 11 months?
You actually have “it made” – temporarily; indeed very temporarily. The landscape is littered with numerous examples of high school seniors who thought they had “it made” once the decision was made, the offer accepted. In fact the real work now begins; and it begins in earnest tomorrow.
You have 11 months to get yourself ready for the next step. You need to get your academic house in order first and foremost. Simultaneously you need to get your athletic game to the highest possible level since when you get to your new college team the intensity will be such that you have not ever faced before.
Trust us on this point. When you take put 20-30 individuals in the pool who all have a common goal of excelling it will require every bit of your ability to keep up. As an 18 year old you will be competing with 22 year olds who want to help you improve while keeping their spot ahead of you. The dynamic is either incredibly inspiring or crushing.
You will literally either sink or swim. Same goes for the classroom. They don’t take attendance. They don’t care if you show up; pass or fail; it’s up to you.
Which is a really wonderful thing; you are now firmly, perhaps for the first time in your life, actually in charge of your own destiny. You have arrived at a wonderful place. You can thrive and actually call it your own…perhaps for the first time in your life…powerful stuff indeed!
So keep moving forward these next few months and see what is possible for you!

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