#1 You'll always be tired. Say goodbye to those summer mornings where you'd wake up at noon feeling completely refreshed. An American College Health Association study shows that normal people have about 2 nights of insufficient sleep but student athletes report 4 per week.http://www.ncaa.org/health-and-safety/sport-science-institute/mind-body-and-sport-sleeping-disorders
#2 Homework probably won't get done till midnight. Every night. Student-athletes actually tend to have better study habits and better grades than people who don't do sports only because they are forced to manage their time wisely. Granted you still don't usually get done until late at night due to how tight your schedule is.https://www.google.com/amp/www.smudailycampus.com/sports/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-division-i-athlete/amp?client=safari
#3 You're social life only exists on the weekends. During the week there's no time for partying when you're in season. My daily schedule consisted of waking up at 6, going to school for 7 hours, then 2 and half hours of practice, dinner, homework, then in bed by about midnight.https://www.google.com/amp/www.smudailycampus.com/sports/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-division-i-athlete/amp?client=safari
#4 Water is your savior. Before you train you'll want to have about 1 water bottle. During you need to drink a little bit every 15 minutes and afterwards, you should have about 1 water bottle per every pound you lost while training. If you don't have a sufficient amount of water then you risk: decreased blood flow, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, headaches and muscle cramps.https://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/Performance%20Hydration%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
#5 Being sick can be your angel, or your devil. When you're sick it can feel like a blessing to finally have a day off, but at the same time you feel awful and you miss out on some very critical training. You need to make sure you get back to 100% so you can perform to the best of your ability once more.
#6 Game Days are the most important days of the year. Game day can be one of the most important days, so it's important to stay healthy. Start the day with a breakfast containing carbs (such as whole-wheat bread or cereal) and a source of protein (such as eggs, yogurt or milk). Lunch should be hearty and represent as many food groups as possible, including whole grains, lean protein, fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy. Afterwards is just as important, you need mainly protein, but you can't forget the other stuff.http://www.eatright.org/resource/fitness/sports-and-performance/tips-for-athletes/8-game-day-nutrition-tips-for-young-athletes
#7 Buck. My coach Ivey told me about an Australian AFL player who overcame series injuries yet continued to finish out the game. This story taught me how to not give up during a very important game. It taught me how to push through whatever pain i'm going through at the time and finish the game with everything i have. Even with powering through all these injuries and knocks and such, you must get these little things treated and healed while performing at your best.
#8 It's all worth it. No matter how much work you put in, how much time you sacrifice, how much you tailor your life so you play your best, no matter how stressful everything is, in the end, running out onto that field under the lights is one of the best feelings you can feel.