For any college student, adjusting to life as a freshman is not an easy task.
The first thing he or she must do is learn how to manage their time. There is a lot more of it than when they were in high school, primarily because they are living on their own for the first time.
They have more free time to do what they really want to do, and that is the tricky part. They have to balance it and make sure they are giving themselves enough time for their studies, while also getting enough sleep so they can function at a high level in the classroom.
Now take that to another level for a student athlete. Their schedule is even more difficult to manage because they have to fit in workouts and practice time, as well as team and position meetings. It’s even more crucial they give themselves enough time to study and sleep.
Clemson linebacker Tre Lamar admitted time management was one of the issues that perhaps slowed up his progression last season, when he came in hoping to do more than he did.
“Size of the playbook, speed, there are so many things, time management. Now that I have been here for a year and a half, I’m getting used to it,” the sophomore said.
Lamar played in all 15 games last year, but most of his playing time came on special teams. This year, the sophomore has positioned himself to be the starter at middle linebacker where so far he is having a good camp according to his position coach and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
“You always have higher expectations for yourself,” Lamar said. “Maybe last year was not quite up to where I wanted it to be, but that’s what (college) is for, to really accomplish what I set out to be.”
What the 6-foot-4, 245-pound sophomore wants to be is one of the best linebackers in college football. Now that he is used to college life and has worked out his schedule, his development on the football continues to improve.
“In terms of the summer, I had a great summer,” Lamar said. “I worked with Coach (Joey) Batson to really get my conditioning right. I got into my playbook and stuff like that. Since I know what I am doing, I can be more confident in what I’m doing on the field.”
That confidence is allowing Lamar to think clearer on the field. He is making the right calls or adjusting to the right call. He is also more confident in terms of his coverage skills and things of that nature.
“I feel like I have made a lot of progress both on and off the field,” he said. “I feel like I have taken some big steps. I feel like my footwork has improved. I feel like just my recognition has improved a lot just based on my confidence on the field.”
Venables is cross training all the linebackers at different positions as he always does so everyone is getting a lot of playing time and reps in camp. Lamar says that is helping the Tigers linebacking corps become better and deeper by the practice.
“Coach V is throwing everyone out there,” he said. “Everyone is doing well right now. I feel like everybody has a chance to get out there and play. We have a strong group.”
And that starts in the middle where Lamar has improved on the football field and with managing his schedule. In other words, he has plenty of time to be as great as he wants to be.
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