The following piece was written for the Track & Field Athletes Association’s blog on the difficult transition between high school and college for even the most elite freshmen.
Freshmen were not allowed to compete in NCAA varsity sports until 1986 for a pretty good reason – the transition from high school to college is a challenging one for 18-year-old young adults to make, even for those at the very top of the high school ranks.
By all accounts Colorado’s Ammar Moussa has had a solid start to his collegiate career, finishing 88th and scoring as the Buffaloes’ crucial fifth man at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. But even for Moussa and others who have experienced early success, the adjustment for freshmen can be difficult on the academic, athletic and social levels.
Moussa arrived at CU as one of the nation’s top prep runners out of a highly successful program at Arcadia High School. Moussa and the Apaches set course records at the historic Mt. SAC and Woodward Park cross country courses in California and won the Nike Team Nationals title in 2010 behind the high mileage training regimen of coach Jim O’Brien.
Even before stepping foot on campus, Moussa realized his approach from high school would have to change. He could no longer sail through his school work on cruise control while also needing to push the envelope in training knowing he had many improvements yet to make.
Read the rest of the article here.