Football in College: How to Make the Transition

Emerson Bridgewater, Staff Sports Writer

Making the transition from high school football to college football is more than just another step of the game. College football is a different level of competition, physicality, and mentality. It is a whole different level, and sometimes it can be overwhelming.

“It’s very hard getting used to the heightened level of pressure,” said Mr. Clarkson. “All the athletes are better, the practices are longer, the film sessions are more intense, and the training is much more grueling.”

Mr. Clarkson teaches US History and Sociology at MV. Mr. Clarkson played football at MV when he attended as a student. He then attended Butler University and continued to play football in college.

“Playing at the next level is much more serious. It takes a lot more commitment. You need to prepare yourself for less time and more pain. Also, school is a lot harder. you need to be very organized to balance your sport and your academics,” said Mr. Clarkson.

The level of enjoyment for which level these athletes play on is really based on their personality. Some like the harder competition and harder work ethic, some are playing the sport as a way to just stay active and be involved in something.

“High school football was more enjoyable because I got to play with my best friends. I’d known them my entire life and got to share many sporting moments with them,” said Mr. Clarkson. “I mostly enjoyed the adrenaline rush of playing against great athletes and traveling all over the country. I least enjoyed the long film sessions and meetings.”

It is important that athletes go into playing college football knowing what they want to accomplish. Whether that’s trying to make it to the NFL, or strictly being apart of something bigger than just going to class while getting their degree, a goal is needed. Playing football in college is a great opportunity to get financial help with college while playing a beloved sport.

“If I could give any advice to athletes planning to play football in college, it would be the following,” said Coach Kirschner. “You are going to college to get a degree first and play football second.  Do not look at college football as your stepping stone to the NFL; be realistic. You are going for education. Also remember you will start at the bottom again, just because you get recruited does not mean you will walk in and be a starter. You are starting from the bottom like you did as a freshmen in high school be patient.”

Although playing college football can be a blessing in many ways, athletes must balance real life goals with dreams.