USA TODAY High School Sports asked some of the top female college athletes from different sports to give their advice to high school girls on a variety of pressures they will face in the coming years. This is the last of a nine-part series in conjunction with USA TODAY High School Sports’ Girls Sports Month.
Wednesday, May 7: Recruiting
Thursday, May 8: Parties/social scene
Tuesday, May 14: Homesickness
Thursday, May 16: Relationships/dating
Tuesday, May 21: Classes/homework
Thursday, May 23: The off-season
Tuesday, May 28: Social media
Wednesday, May 29: Lifestyle/nutrition
Thursday, May 30: Most important advice
The most important piece of advice …
Nicole Gibb, junior, Stanford, tennis
“Even though you are going to be on a team and essentially working for a university, you do have to prioritize yourself to a certain degree. The team comes first – but at the end of the day, the thing that is most important in terms of your performance is feeling good. It’s being out there on the court or on the field, and feeling like you are able to give your maximum potential out there.
“If you are feeling really sick and your getting a lot of pressure to go practice and workout – that’s natural – but sometimes it’s really important to step back, call your coach and say ‘Hey, this my situation’, and most times they are going to be really understanding. Just take care of yourself as much as you are also committing your life to your program. “
Christine Nairn, Penn State, soccer
“You are about to start the coolest period of time in your life. If I could do it all over again I would. You’re on your own, your finding out who you are – pushing limits. You are going to be tired, you are going to think you’re going to fail out of school – but it’s never as bad as you think.
“Whether it’s a Division 3 or a Division 1 school, you’re going to hit moments of your life where you think it’s not worth it and think, ‘I’m missing too many parties, I’m missing too much class, I’m missing my whole college experience’ – but you’re not going to remember the nights that you went to parties. You’re going to remember the games that you want, and the memories that you have with you teammates.”
Noora Raty, senior, Minnesota, ice hockey
“Be open-minded. Try to learn as much as you can. There are so many resources available. Explore different options. Look at different schools and what they have to offer you and try to find the best fit.
“Enjoy every moment and every second you have. I feel like I just started my freshman year – and now I’m already graduating. Time flies by so fast. Play like it’s your last game or meet – because you never know when it’s going to be your last one. So enjoy and love every moment.”