The first three years of my college experience have nearly gone by and your first year of college is close to starting. Before you know it, summer will have come and you will be in the midst of a transition from high school to college. From past experience, I am still aware of the anxious feeling that incoming freshmen have as they come to campus; this is completely normal and expected.

As you enter your last summer before starting college, it is important that you take the steps that will put you in a good position for fall ball. The biggest difference by far between high school athletics and athletics at the top tier Division I level is the speed of the game. When we put our pads on and have our first inter-team scrimmage in early September, the speed we play at will certainly seem faster than you are used to.

I would just like to impress upon you the importance of making the right decisions this summer in terms of preparation. There is no need to go crazy or be overly worried, but it is important that you get your body into a state that will allow you to go out to practice everyday and work hard. We have a very blue collar mentality and work ethic, which is what allows us to out run and out hustle other teams.

I hope that you do not worry or get too nervous over the upcoming fall season. It is my wish that you realize the opportunity that you will have this summer to prepare yourself for playing at the next level. Capitalize fully on it so that you can put yourself in a good position for the fall. Be excited and get yourself ready for the best four years of your life. I would not trade my time in college for anything. There is a locker room full of teammates here that you can rely on and that will rely on you from day one. I wish you the best as your senior year is coming to an end. I cannot wait to have you in the locker room in the fall.

Your teammate

Throughout my career motivated individuals have surrounded me. This inspiration at times was tough to feel during the daily grind, and other times the real life energy was obvious. When our paths cross, I am proud to see that the athletes come up to me for a handshake or high five and the stories they remind me about put an instant smile on my face.

This new segment will showcase the letters that many have written, myself or the athletes and coaches that I have worked with; to share their inspiration with those we call “teammates.” As you read through the messages that are shared, please remember that what is inside you can separate you from the rest. Look around and you may be surprised how many others are in need of just a little enthusiasm to push them closer to their goals: professionally, physically, mentally, etc.

I will begin with a letter that I sent to a team that I am still very proud of to this day. No names needed. Just a sincere message that I hope can impact others to pay it forward by giving energy to those around them.

Please leave your feedback in the comments section at the bottom. How are you preparing your team, coaches, administrators, staff, co-workers, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers to have a positive mindset in both good and challenging times?