Chapter 8: THE COMMITMENT TEST – ROOKIE: Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Soccer
I beg of you to pay attention to what you are about to read. I want to give you a sneak peek into the pyramid of urgency for a college athlete.
Right now, college soccer looks like it will go on forever. You get to experience four years of it, and four years might seem like an eternity. You probably feel that you can ease your way into it until you eventually hit your stride. That complacency puts you on the bottom of the pyramid.
On the other hand…Three and a half months after preseason opens, your senior teammates will see their soccer careers end. The thing they love to do most of all will be taken from them and they’ll never be able to get it back. That means they have one last chance to shape their legacy, one last chance to accomplish everything they had hoped to accomplish as collegiate soccer players. Translated, that means they have one last chance to win championships. And that means more to them than you or any other rookie can possibly imagine.
That is why your fitness test results are just as important to your teammates as they are to you. From where you sit, your fitness test might be about how far you can run in 12 minutes; for the returners, particularly the seniors, your fitness test is about the investment you are willing to make to help them reach their goals. So, where you see a fitness test, they see a commitment test. And believe me, they are paying close attention to your results.
Do you know the saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression? Well, the fitness test is the first impression the returners will have of you, and if you bomb it, they’ll write you off before you leave the field that day. However, if you light that test on fire, they’ll immediately take you seriously. They’ll think of you as someone they can trust to help them get to where they want to be, and that will ease your path into the inner sanctum.
Don’t ever give your teammates a reason to question your fitness. It’s something you control, so own it! Please believe me when I tell you that from your teammates’ point of view, the fitness test is not about running; it’s about whether or not they can depend on you.
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