If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about being a successful college athlete, it’s Levi Metheny.
Levi Metheny showed skill on the field from an early age and played both varsity football and basketball in his hometown of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. In college, he played as a linebacker for the University of Albany. Throughout his career, he was a starter for three years earning FCS Pre-Season All-American after the 2019 season. To continue his education and complete his last year in his football career, Levi Metheny transferred to Murray State University where he earned his MBA.
For Metheny, it was not an overnight success but instead a constant dedication to improving on and off the field. That’s why, if you have your own sights set on college sports and want to make sure you make the right impact for yourself and your university, there are a few key factors that can set you up for a successful collegiate career.
Come to Work Every Day
One of the most important steps to take to become a successful college athlete involves the acknowledgment that there is no individual success without team success.
When it comes to team sports, it takes every member from the head coach to the water boy to be a part of a successful program. You could be objectively the best player on the team – or even in an entire league – and still not achieve success if you tend to think and play selfishly. Every member of a team is vital to the team’s overall success. From the head coach to the waterboy, and everywhere in between, each individual member has a job that needs to be performed at the highest level possible. Every member has their own unique set of skills that can make a team whole. When you finally understand that unity beats individuality and work ethic beats skill, teams tend to trend in the right direction.
Compete Compete Compete
Naturally, sports are all about competition and when it comes to college sports there is no difference. Competition is what separates good and great athletes. The best players compete against each other in the weight room, on the field, in the game, and even in the classroom. Competition is a driving factor for continuous improvement and growth.
Competition increases effort and shows not only your strengths but weaknesses as well. It shows where you are as an individual, and as a team, and what you need to improve on.
Take each form of competition as a learning experience and a chance for success. Continue to improve on the wins and learn from your losses. Take each loss as a learning experience to improve and get better. Understand what went wrong, make the adjustment, practice at a high level, and compete every chance you get.
Preparation is Key
Truly, one of the most important steps that someone can take to become a successful college athlete, in the opinion of Levi Metheny, involves preparation
Yes, the big game is coming up this week but what will you do between now and then? What have you done in the preseason that sets you up for success? How many films have you watched? How much time in the weight room have you spent? Games are not won on game day but instead on the hours and days leading up to the game.
There will always be another big game coming down the road and the bigger the game, the smaller you should think. The only way this is possible is through trust in the process and the correct preparation. Listening, learning, and preparing each week allows you the opportunity to succeed when the time comes.
Appreciate the Journey
For Levi Metheny, another key way to become a successful college athlete involves the idea that your team’s record isn’t the “be-all, end-all” metric for what “success” actually means.
During every single game or training session, you will learn invaluable lessons that you didn’t have before. Your team members will inspire you to become a better version of yourself. You will pick up skills that you didn’t already have or continue to develop the ones that you did.
Much of your learning process can be done on the scout team. Although the spotlight may not be on you, the scout team during practice is a key component to the development of a successful athlete. Understand that while on the scout team, you will be going up against the best players on the team at a young age. Do not look at this as an inconvenience, but rather an opportunity to get better and prove yourself. Learn from playing against the best, so that when your opportunity comes, you will be ready to succeed.
Always Be Learning
Finally, on the subject of life lessons, Levi Metheny believes that the most important way that someone can succeed as a college athlete involves the acknowledgment that they can never stop trying to get better.
This is true in many areas of life – whether you’re talking about the field or your success in a corporate environment later on in life. You can always improve yourself. You can always learn more. You will never be perfect, but at the same time, that doesn’t mean you should stop trying.
The moment that you get content with your ability is the moment that someone else has the chance to surpass you. Have the mentality that someone is always trying to take your job and bring the energy and effort every day to get better.