I was 30 minutes late to my good friend’s baby shower this weekend. I woke up late, took too long to get ready, and then got stuck in traffic on the way there. It was one thing after another – but all things that would have been non-factors had I planned accordingly. My anxiety was building, and I felt terrible for my inconsideration for my friend and those hosting and attending her celebration. (Side note: Here are some tips on dealing with anxiety as an athlete.)
It was just beyond rude on my part.
Then, as if I hadn’t learned my lesson, I was taking the Amtrak train back to Chicago the next day, and you guessed it: I was late.
Except guess what happens when you’re late for the train? It leaves without you.
So you can imagine the salt-in-the-wound feeling I got when I received this Google alert while I was waiting at the train station with this article from Forbes why being late is unacceptable. To name a few reasons: it’s disrespectful, costly, and harmful to you and your reputation.
Punctuality will make or break your first time meeting a coach.
The moral of my story is that while many of you have started fall practices, and very, very soon, will be starting school – make punctuality a priority. It really does speak volumes about who you are and the respect and gratitude you have for other people and their time and resources. Being late to school can have a negative impact on your grades, (which you can’t afford as a student-athlete), and a negative impact on your reputation and reliability, (which you can’t afford as a student-athlete).
It can also send you running extra laps at practice. Get you benched at a game. And if it’s bad enough, habitual lateness could result in you being kicked off the team. Or blowing your first time meeting a coach.
Do you have trouble staying punctual? If you do, here are a few ways to help you stay on top of things, especially for something as important as the first time meeting a coach and getting that first impression exactly the way you want it to be.
- Live your life by this mantra. For real; do it: “To be early is to be on time; to be on time is to be late.” (I’ve also heard “5 minutes early is on time; on time is late; late is unacceptable,” but I think my mantra is better.)
- If you’re having trouble with making appointments early in the morning because you can’t wake up, make sure you’re getting the right amount. Like Goldilocks, you don’t want to have too much, nor too little. Although I bet for many student-athletes it’s going to be way too little.
- Have a back-up. What happens if your football team only has one quarterback and he gets injured? Tough situation, right? Similarly, if you count on someone for a ride, have a parent, a friend or parents of a friend as a contact in your phone in case your ride cancels or is late themselves.
- Own up to it. If you do happen to be late, try to disrupt your practice as little as possible when you first get there. But be sure to approach your coach and apologize at an appropriate moment. Believe me: They noticed you were late, and owning up to your tardiness is a respectful sign of maturity.
Our scouts can talk you through other aspects of your first time meeting a coach, and your recruiting process in general. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.