Players that reach out to PREP Athletics are looking at prep school as a way to enhance their athletic potential. This is the reason I chose to do a post-grad year at a prep school. While going to a prep school will absolutely help develop a player’s game, there are so many more benefits to take advantage of to optimize this experience. Here are some to consider taking advantage of during your time at a prep school:
1) Make New Friends – Prep schools pride themselves on being diverse. Want proof? Look at each school’s brochure or website and they will list the number of states and countries represented, and somewhere on a campus there will be a display of flags from these locales. With this diverse grouping of students, one has the opportunity to meet friends that they never would have met otherwise. I have told the story in other forums about my prep school roommate who came from a Navajo reservation and was the first Native American to play Division 1 basketball. We were the best men to each other in our respective weddings. This lifelong friendship wouldn’t have happened without me attending a prep school. My non-basketball friends were from Texas, Minnesota, California, Alabama, and North Carolina, and they too came from different backgrounds. All of our lives are richer after meeting each other at prep school.
2) Try New Activities – Some prep schools require their students to play multiple sports. It can be soccer, mountain biking, football, volleyball, etc. If you want to spend all of your time competing in one sport that is fine and there are schools that provide that option. Even then, you can still take advantage of the extracurricular clubs that are offered. Your sport will end one day so try to branch out and see other what other hobbies might interest you.
3) College/AP Classes – If you have solid grades, and the prep school offers it, you should explore the option of taking AP or college classes. Both will get you ready for a college classroom and you also have the chance to get credits that can potentially transfer to your future school. Worst case, if they don’t accept your credits, you will have learned something new and be more prepared to succeed in a college classroom setting.
4) Study Habits – When players leave home for the first time they will need to learn how to study on their own. Some kids are used to their parents checking in on them to see their progress or to remind them of an assignment. This doesn’t happen in college nor the real world so why not start it at prep school. Most schools have a study skills seminar or course to help those away from home for the first time to optimize their studies. Learning labs, librarians and teachers are also on campus to help with learning how to study in this environment.
5) Have Fun – You are still a kid. You have not joined Overtime Elite or the G League. Take a beat, breath in and enjoy the present. Your school will have a lot going on within its social calendar. Put down your phone and get out and see the world. There is a good chance that you are on a beautiful campus in a beautiful setting. You are only young once. Don’t rush it! As Robin Williams said in the movie Dead Poets Society, “Carpe Diem.” Seize the day!