The difference between high school athletes and college athletes

Daniel Jahn, CSCS, USAW, MaxSC Founder, Director of Training and Education Maximum Sports Conditioning

Since I began working with high school athletes consistently, I have taken notice to some common differences between them and Division I athletes.

1. Division I athletes are much more focused and driven. They know what they want and need to do to get what they want. They make sure that not only do they approach every opportunity with passion, but with intent to succeed.

2. Division I athletes do hundreds and thousands more repetitions than high school athletes. Perfection takes repetitions and if you are serious about getting better, you have to turn “mechanics into muscle memory” by performing thousands of reps.

3. Division I athletes are much stronger and more physical than high school athletes. I believe the only reason is that they participate in a very structured strength & conditioning program, and are held accountable to improving their athleticism. If high school athletes partake in the same type of structured program, I believe they will see huge increases in strength and athleticism as well.

4. Division I athletes are more aggressive. You cannot succeed at the collegiate level if you are timid. You have to take an aggressive approach to everything you do.

5. Division I athletes love to compete. I have noticed that many high school athletes don’t like competition. They are scared of it. If playing in college is a dream of yours, you need to learn to compete all the time. Challenge yourself every opportunity you get.

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