1. Be committed. Choose the sport you want to focus on and be 100% committed to it. That doesn't mean that you can't play other sports, but be committed at excelling in your favorite sport and pour your heart into it. Be committed to yourself and be committed to your team (in a team sport.)
2. Time Management. Being able to balance school, sports, and a social life is an important part of college. You have to plan in advance, and keep your practice and travel schedules in mind at all times.
3. Prioritize. It is hard to balance a sport and school on top of the college social life. You need to have your priorities set, school, your sport, and then your social life. There will be times that you will have to pass on a big party because you have a hard practice the next day or a test you need to prepare for the next week. Keeping your priorities straight will help you do this.
4. Be independent. Being able to make your own decisions, and do things on your own is critical in the success of an athlete. Always relying on other people to get things done for you will not get you very far.
5. Be reliable. You don't want to be known as the person who is always late, or the person who you can't count on. Reliability is a personality trait that is important not only in sports, but in your professional and social life as well.
6. Lead. If you are a good athlete, you will try to lead the people you are with. It doesn't matter if you lead vocally, or if you lead by example on the field/court. It is important that when times get tough, you can step up and take charge of the situation.
7. Be relaxed. This is really important when you are in the recruitment process. It is important that you can keep your cool when you know your every move is being watched on the court/field. You have to keep your composure and continue to play your game. The more tense you are, the more likely you are to make a mistake which will lead to more stress. Take a deep breath and relax your mind and body before stepping foot on the floor for competition.
8. Self-discipline. At times, you have to be hard on yourself. Set goals for yourself and don't quit until you accomplish them. Don't ever take the easy way out of situations. Push yourself to be the best you can.
9. Be open-minded. You have to be willing to change if you want to be a successful athlete. Your way might not always be the best way. Different coaches will have different strategies on how to play the game, and you have to be able to adapt to these theories and make the adjustments that will make you successful.
10. Be competitive. Strive to be the best, do the little things that will push you past the competition. Don't settle for second best. Be at the top of your game, and help bring your team to the top of their game. Strive to win.