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Vince Farfaglia
Credentials
Francis Marion University Baseball, Polk State College Baseball, Free Agent Contract Lodi(IBL Serie A-2), Assistant GM Utica Brewers.
 
Article
Planning For Success - Part 2
Just about every Little Leaguer or Pop Warner football player has dreams of one day playing in the MLB or NFL. No matter the sport, most athletes have a desire to compete at the highest level. For some sports the highest level to attain is collegiate, others it is Olympian or professional.

There is one quality that every college or professional athlete has in common – commitment. I’m not speaking of a level of commitment of just showing up to every game and practice or trying to do your best. Rather, I’m speaking of a special level of commitment, one that is fueled by desire and discipline to be the absolute best that you can be. Without desire or discipline, there is no real, long-lasting commitment. Without commitment, athletes level off and eventually burn out.

Take for example that 12 year old kid that was bigger, taller, stronger, faster or better than every other kid in the league. All of a sudden at 16 he’s just an average athlete and when he graduates high school, he goes to college as a student, not a student-athlete.

Conventional wisdom says that everyone else physically caught up and that may be true in a lot of cases. But I think there’s more to it. I think that in many of those cases instead of commitment there was complacency. Instead of being driven to take his game to a higher level, that kid was satisfied at being the best 12 year old.

Extending Your Athletic Career Into College
Every athlete has an athletic career – some end in high school, others go through college and beyond. If you desire to play college sports, commit yourself to following these steps:

Assess your strengths and weaknesses: 
Forget about how you stack up against your peers, how do you stack up against the norms of college athletes? Are you too heavy? Too skinny? Do you have the right arm strength? Foot speed? Quickness? Jumping height? Leg strength?

Improve deficiencies: Once you know where you are, you know where you’ve got to go. Speed, agility and quickness (SAQ) is an area that most athletes need improvement and is one of the greatest determining factors of whether or not college coaches are going to recruit you. Contrary to conventional wisdom speed can be taught. Find an SAQ trainer in your area and get into a program. It is money well spent and will help you achieve success at your current level.

Get sport specific training: Whatever your sport, get professional training to hone and sharpen your skills.

Get to the gym and hit the weights:
 Weight train to build speed and strength, not muscle mass. Your weight training routine should be approved by your coach and/or your SAQ coach. Core strength is key.

Nutrition and supplements: Good nutrition and the right supplements (i.e. protein, amino acids) will fuel both your training and your game performance. Supplements are not steroids and can be used safely by high school athletes. Again, your SAQ coach can suggest the right diet and supplements for you as a high school athlete.

Avoid drugs and alcohol: The day you start doing drugs is the day your athletic career is over. Nothing will destroy your desire and your discipline faster than drugs and alcohol. According to the American Athletic Institute:

· Drinking to intoxication can negate as much as fourteen days of training effect.

· Drinking alcohol after training negates training effect.

· Drinking alcohol after competition hinders recovery.

· Players that drink are twice as likely to become injured.

Continuous Improvement in the business world is a concept whereby an organization undergoes constant assessment and improvement in an effort to stay ahead of the competition. If you want to be successful as an athlete you must be committed to Continuous Improvement of your mind and body. In the end, it all comes down to how much you want it.

Next: Part III – Positioning yourself and avoiding the pitfalls of recruiting mistakes.
Date Submitted: May 29, 2010 18:08:39
 
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