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Dear Freshman

Dear Freshman,

As your coach, I want you to know that your talents and abilities are valued, but so are the qualities that make you unique. As you start your college experience, there will be challenges and pressures that can make it easy to lose sight of who you are, but I encourage you to stay true to your values and maintain your character throughout your time here. I want you to work as hard as you can athletically and academically, but remember that you are more than your sport.

I want to share 10 pieces of advice to make your time at Centenary a meaningful and productive experience. You have a ton of resources on campus, including myself. Never feel like you are alone or you have to face challenges in the dark.

I can't wait to see you grow and develop during your time here, and I believe if you continue on the right path forward, you will achieve amazing things.


Coach Ashley


10 Pieces of Advice Every College Athlete Needs to Know

Establish good time management habits. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds you to prioritize your activities in a way that serves God and others. Establishing good time management habits early on will help you achieve your goals with excellence, rest, and life's blessings.

Communicate with your coach and seek their guidance regularly. Proverbs 11:14 teaches that seeking wise counsel can prevent failure, while many counselors lead to safety. Coaches can guide you in areas they are experienced in, helping you improve your skills and perform your best on and off the court.

Stay focused on your academic responsibilities and prioritize your studies. Proverbs 16:3 advises that when we commit our work to God, He establishes our plans. For you, prioritizing academics and dedicating your studies to God will help you succeed academically and athletically. By staying focused and committing your efforts to God, you can fulfill your responsibilities and honor God.

Take care of your physical and mental health. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 teaches that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, bought at a price, and we should honor God with them. This reminds us to care for our physical and mental health, which is essential to our well-being. Maintaining good health not only improves performance but also prevents injuries and illnesses. Taking care of your body allows you to pursue athletic goals with excellence and glorify God with your body.

Build relationships with your teammates and make every effort to be a good teammate. Proverbs 27:17 teaches that one person can sharpen another like iron. This reminds us that building positive relationships with those around us leads to growth and improvement. Being a good teammate and investing in positive relationships leads to tremendous success on and off the court. By demonstrating God's love through your actions, you can build a positive team culture and honor God.

Stay organized with your schedule and use a calendar (or Excel spreadsheet). Colossians 3:23-24 teaches us to work with our whole heart for God, not human bosses, as we will receive a reward from Him. You can honor God by managing your time with a planner and doing your best both academically and athletically. By treating your work as if you are doing it for God, you can use your abilities to glorify Him.

Remain committed and dedicated to your sport. 1 Corinthians 9:24 teaches us to strive towards our goals persistently. You will improve and reach your potential by remaining committed and dedicated to your sport. This also applies to faith. We must stay steadfast and work towards eternal life in Christ. Just like in a race, you must have a goal in mind and work toward it diligently.

Seek out opportunities for extra training or conditioning. 1 Timothy 4:8 teaches that while physical training has some value, spiritual growth is more important for this life and the next. You will develop your physical abilities through extra training, but you should also prioritize spiritual growth, which helps in every area of life. By balancing physical and spiritual exercise, you will honor God and be prepared for any challenge.

Be open-minded and willing to learn from others. Proverbs 19:20 teaches the value of seeking and accepting guidance. You will mature and reach your goals by being open-minded and learning from coaches and more experienced teammates. This also demonstrates humility, which is important for believers. By listening to well-intentioned advice, you will grow in wisdom and become more successful in all areas of life.

Have a positive attitude and maintain a growth mindset. Philippians 4:8 teaches the importance of focusing on positive thoughts. You will overcome obstacles and setbacks with a growth mindset and a positive attitude. By focusing on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable, you will build a strong foundation for success. This keeps you focused on your goals and helps you maintain a healthy perspective, even in challenging circumstances.

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