First of all, I am not a quitter; I just know that I will not reach my potential here. So, I want better. I deserve better. I can do better and I will do better.
Remember these words as you begin the process of transferring and/or talking to others about your desire to transfer. People will criticize you. People will mention your lack of mental toughness, perseverance, lack of ability, and they will have you reconsider what you are certain of. Stay strong because no one else, but you, goes through the daily battle of trying to be the best version of you in an environment that you believe does not suit you and therefore discourages you.
Note to self:
Who am I to determine if my coach or coaching staff is experienced and/or capable? I am just a player...and I just want to play.
If you are a student-athlete considering a transfer, please remember the statement above as it will make or break your future.
You are an athlete, you are a student, and you are young. Do not spend energy on thinking whether your college coaches are good or bad. Do not waste your time going on rants about how your coaching staff is inexperienced etc. Focus on you. Focus on what you want to achieve; your goals as an athlete and as a student. When you spend the majority of your time pin-pointing all the negatives about where you are, you end up spending inadequate time on doing the necessary thinking, research and planning required for you to move on to the next chapter of your life(next school).
Who am I to tell you how to feel? I am not in your situation, I am not you, BUT I have been in your position, aaaand....I have attended three different universities. Three different basketball teams! So, take notes!
- Hard work and a good work ethic will open doors for you!
No matter how hard your situation is, you must refuse to let go of your work ethic. Keep striving to become better, remain disciplined, and treat yourself and others with respect.
If you lack the aforementioned values, then start developing them. There are various misconceptions associated with 'transfer kids' such as troublemakers, mentally weak(er) or selfish.
- Be on your best behavior!
If you are looking to transfer, be on your best behavior because the coach that you currently "hate" will be the person that you will need to put the good words in for you!
- What are your goals as an athlete? What are your goals as a student? What are your long term career goals?
These probably sound overwhelming, but they are very important questions. Once you are able to answer these, then you will know exactly what you are looking for in your next institution. For example, if you want to play overseas, putting up some numbers, either in rebounds or points or just having significant playing time will play a fundamental role. However, if you just want to finish college and get a degree, your emphasis will be more or strictly academic.
- Do your research!
Learn about, the majors offered, the accreditation of departments in new school versus old school, team rosters in potential new schools in comparison to your class (academically and athletically). Is the school you are considering offering good internship opportunities through their programs? How proactive and/or is the career center?
- Area, diversity, and environment!
- How many credits will transfer to your new school?
This is a vital component that gets neglected often. A lot of times, student athletes focus on the athletic aspect of their transfer and later on realize that their preferable major will not accept enough credits. Consequently, we see student athletes taking more classes than they can handle or they end up switching their major to something that "fits" or something easy “just to graduate”. Think and act proactively!
- Division I, Division II, Division III, Junior College?
What does the division level mean to you (YOU, NO ONE ELSE!)? And how soon do you want to/need to play to return to a positive and healthy mental state? Being unhappy with one specific situation can impact everything you do. So, make your decisions wisely and base them on what's important to you. Research the advantages and disadvantages of going to the same, lower, and or higher level!
- How much will it cost to go home?
This may sound cliché or immature, but it is really important. You will be going to a new place and will be starting all over. Your ability to physically reach out to your family (and/or your family reaching out to you) can have a great impact on how fast you adjust and you perform. For some of y’all, like in my case, it will not matter, but it is good to keep it in mind.
- Go where you feel that you are wanted the most and where YOU feel the most comfortable.
Transferring is tough. The major reason for that is because we are afraid that the next place may be worst than where we currently are. There is always that possibility, but don't act with fear, listen to your heart, and trust your instinct.
Please don't go somewhere only because you have a friend there or your AAU coach or someone else knows the staff. Make sure they want you, like your style of play, and love your personality. Let your connections initiate the contact, but let your game, goals, and mindset seal the deal.
- Take ALL your visits or as many as you can.
It's not your first time, but now you know what you are looking for. Go on official and
un- official visits. Ask the players the right questions; the real questions. There's always one player on the team that's nonchalant and will bluntly tell you the truth. FIND THE NONCHALANT PLAYER. Also, ask the coaches questions. Make them uncomfortable by how well prepared you are!
Why do you think I will be asset to your team?
What is something you would change about my game?
How would you describe the team’s culture and how do you players treat one another?
Why did 5 people transfer last year?
What's your relationship with past players? Do your seniors come back and watch?
The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about the relationship of the coaching staff with the team. You will have a direct exposure to their philosophy and mindset.
- Ask yourself: ARE YOU READY FOR WORSE?
My first transfer was my best college year. The coaching staff and players were great! We made history in the university and lost in the championship game. The following season was expected to be our season. We had 4/5 players from our starting lineup and 2 very promising players that were going to be eligible. So we were ready to get a ring, but few days after we lost the championship game....THE ENTIRE COACHING STAFF LEFT! The following season was....
So, ask yourself, really ask yourself: Are you ready for worse? If you think there's nothing worse than your current situation, then don't even think twice, “deuces’. Just make sure you are prepared for the best and for the worst! They are both possibilities.
12. Financial aid and cost of attendance.
How dependent are you on those two factors? Are the places you are considering offering more, less or the same amount of support?
13. STAY POSITIVE!!!
Your ability to stay positive will be the key to any success in life. This skill will help you overcome any problem or any difficult circumstance that comes your way. Teach yourself to see the good in every bad situation and no matter what the next chapter of your life looks like, you will always see the glass as half-full and not half-empty (if that makes sense).
Another note to self:
You cannot predict anything, but you can prepare for everything!
Recognize that you are older, stronger, smarter, and that your tolerance and toughness are at a higher level. Challenge yourself, better yourself, and take the time to locate the best place for you to do what you love!
No matter what I went through, I would do it ALL AGAIN. It's a once in a lifetime experience, do your best to enjoy it!
Please feel free to ask me anything! I'm here for you!
Love always! -FindUrselfbyJRO- AKA: Queen of Transfer
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