How to be a varsity player in high school

guide for athletes Apr 06, 2022

Text by: Ann Zaprazny
Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

As a high school athlete, you may be looking at the big picture of being a varsity player, aiming for college scholarships and future careers. 

Yet, how do you ensure you're on the right path? 

Table of content:

  1. Stay positive and focused on your goals.
  2. Develop your skills step-by-step. 
  3. Keep your grades up.  Strong student-athletes have more options. 


Here are 3 tips about how to boost your long-term success in sports and life. 


1. Stay positive and focused on your goals


Sports in High School can be amazingly fun. 

They can also be challenging. 

An important step in having a positive high school experience is identifying what you want from your high school sports experience.  

Four years seems like a long time, but before you know it - your High School Sports Career will be over. 

Take time to set goals: 

  • What do you want to achieve in sports? 
  • What skills do you need to improve? 
  • What will you do to improve your conditioning and skill set? 
  • How do you want to improve your mental game? 
  • What are your academic goals? 

High school athletes with strong grades who want to play in college will have more options for the stronger their grades are. If you’re preparing for college, the college sports athlete's preparation guide might be useful. 

Just as important is WHAT will you NOT do in pursuit of your goals. 

Having clarity around what behaviors you will not be a part of is just as important as goal setting.  

Get a FREE copy of our ebook for athletes here and learn how to compete more relaxed and with greater confidence. Learn the same key mental performance skills used by elite athletes.

Will you be intentional to avoid:

  • Cheating
  • Drinking
  • Stealing
  • Gossiping
  • Hazing/Bullying
  • Smoking/Vaping
  • Using drugs
  • Arguing with officials/referees
  • Fighting/Losing your temper
  • Posting inappropriate content on social media
  • Disrespecting a teammate, coach, opponent, parent
  • Binging on TV and social media to the detriment of school work


You choose how you spend your time: what you decide to do and what not to do.

Chose wisely. 

Don’t get distracted by negativity from other people because whatever you focus on grows. 

If you focus on negativity, you’re going to have a lot of negative experiences. When you focus on positivity, you’re going to have a lot of positive experiences.

Sometimes it can be a challenge to stay on the positive side if you experience inconsistent play or poor emotional control. And you don't have to be perfect to be amazing

2. Developing your skills step-by-step

I’ve heard so many stories about athletes who don’t do well simply because they haven’t developed their skills. This guide can give you insight into how to develop your skills, so you can be more successful in sports and life. 

If you are a high school athlete that sometimes has self-doubt, competes inconsistently, or struggles with emotional control – it might be valuable to adopt strategies to help you relax and reduce your stress level. 

Every athlete, every coach, and everyone in the game of life has some self-doubt sometimes. 

Unfortunately, self-doubt can result in frustration and contribute to a lack of emotional control. 

So how do you reduce your self-doubt and improve your emotional control? 

  1. Raise your awareness of what helps you be your best and what moves you away from being your best. 
  2. Listen to your self-doubt and your self-talk. If your self-talk is not servicing you - rewrite it. For example, rewrite, “Don’t mess up to I am ready, I am prepared.”
  3. Focus on what you can control: preparation, leadership, effort, enthusiasm, attitude, and discipline.  
  4. Permit yourself to make mistakes. No one in the history of sports is perfect. Chose to be relentless vs. perfect. 
  5. Use your breath to center and calm. Adopt strategies that help you learn to reduce your pre-competition stress. 

If you want to feel more relaxed and less stressed, you should look at this.  

3. Keep up your grades, even if you have to do so at night or on the weekends 

Strong student-athletes have more options than athletes with poor grades.  Be intentional to have goals to succeed in school and in sports. 

To succeed academically in college you have to have discipline, time management, and strong study skills.  

Be intentional to focus on mapping out a game plan for success in school.  Schedule time to complete your readings and your assignments and to study for tests.  Seek out extra help before you need it. Build positive relationships with your coaches. 




Start receiving my latest mental game tips, news and updates on how you can start taking action in your business, coaching career and sports performance. 

This is a spam free zone.


50% Complete


Thanks for subscribing.  We never sell your data nor will we bombard you with crazy emails.  We will just send you information that we think will be helpful.  And... we hope you don't but you can always un- subscribe.