Your Redshirt Year

Coming in 2014, I've vowed to do shorter posts - simply because I can tell you MORE by telling you LESS, MORE OFTEN.

There's some stuff that needs a comprehensive head-to-toe discussion and examination and will receive just that.

This is one of the shorter ones.

If you are familiar with the NCAA and college athletics, you might have heard of the term "redshirt".

Long story short - a "redshirt" is a designation where a student-athlete (almost always a 17 or 18 year old Freshman - in his first year of college) can practice with the team, learn most of the skills of his sport, acclimate himself to the university/life as a student-athlete, get his body and mind in shape to compete with 20-22 year old athletes and not lose a year of eligibility with the team.

Nearly ALL college football players take (or are told to take) a "redshirt" during their Freshman year simply because they aren't good enough or physically strong enough to contribute to the team.

The move to redshirt (only practice but not play) is also a psychological one - Freshman that play (and don't redshirt) almost always get their asses kicked and can get very down on themselves and think of transferring or quitting altogether.

Johnny Manziel redshirted in 2011 but won the Heisman Throphy in 2012. Johnny Manziel redshirted in 2011 and didn't play in a single game. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2012.

For example-

A young 17 or 18 year old kid receives a scholarship to play Division I college football.

At 17-18, while he may have the potential to become a great athlete, he is not physically ready to play with the older players (grown ass men) that have been lifting weights, practicing and been with the team for the past 2 or 3 years. He will take a "redshirt" so he can work on his fundamentals and not be forced into game competition where he would otherwise be counted on to produce.

The redshirt designation still allows him to have an additional 4 years to play with the team.

Basically - the year is not counted [toward his eligibility].

Instead of being a Sophomore (only allowed to play for 3 more years) the following season, he is a "redshirt Freshman" and can still play for 4 years.

The redshirt year is a "throwaway" year where he can somewhat relax and just practice so he can contribute sometime in the next 2, 3 or 4 years. Since he's not allowed to play in real games (otherwise he'd lose his redshirt) - the pressure is off and his can just work on his "game".

There's VERY FEW "True" Freshman playing college football that don't receive a redshirt and mainly spend their time with the practice squad and in the weight room.
(I know some schools like Notre Dame, etc. never redshirt players - but the vast majority of college programs look to designate all their incoming Freshman with a redshirt since the move makes them better football players in the long run)

Although the redshirt year is considered a "throwaway" year- the amount a player learns and develops as a Freshman is MORE THAN ANY YEAR.

The transition from high school athletics (where the kid was probably by far the BEST PLAYER on his team) to college athletics (where he is playing again kids that are BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER and noticeably BETTER than him) isn't an easy one.

Most 17 or 18 year old athletes have no business playing against athletes that are 21 or 22 years old.

The redshirt takes the pressure off, gives the player a chance to develop and an extra year of eligibility.
(there's also a separate 'medical redshirt' where injured players can request another year of eligibility and just focus on their rehab)

When most college football players graduate - they will have practiced with the team for 5 or 6 years and only played competitively (in real games) for 2 or 3 years.

Basically - the redshirt year allows them to become men.

All of my friends that played college athletics (not just football) looked like completely different people after their Freshman year. They all grew up. Even myself, who didn't attempt to try and play college football until my Senior year, make huge strides physically in my Freshman year of college (I gained a good 20lbs of muscle mass).

Like Manziel, Jameis Winston redshirted his Freshman year and didn't play in 1 real game. 4 Days ago, he won the 2013 Heisman Trophy as the best college football player in America. Like Manziel, Jameis Winston redshirted his Freshman year and didn't play in 1 real game. 4 Days ago, he won the 2013 Heisman Trophy as the best college football player in America.

You might see where I'm going with this.

If you haven't had much of asocial life beyond 1 group of friends, never experienced what it's like to be in better shape than 90% of guys, never really talked to girls you didn't know and are generally inexperienced (95% of all guys fall into this category - even if you were fairly popular in your younger years) - the chances that you turn ALL of that around and "Get Your Life Handled" in your first year of trying are slim.

Even if you make good progress, you'll be better the NEXT YEAR and you'll be better the YEAR AFTER THAT.
(if you don't take long periods of time off)

That's how REAL learning happens.

Way too many guys think they are going to get awesome results [at anything] in their Freshman year.

They start focusing on expectations, lack of results, pointless numbers and comparisons to more experienced guys instead of just getting better.

Since there's no coach or "redshirt" designation that helps you manage expectations - you can quickly get discouraged that you aren't "on the level" of guys that have been at it for YEARS.

Rookies aren't on the same level as experienced guys - BECAUSE THEY AREN'T ON THE SAME LEVEL.

If this has crossed your mind even ONCE in your first 365 days of trying to accelerate your social and sex life - it might be time to give yourself a redshirt and stop worrying about actual results for the next year.
(ironically - this type of attitude generally produces results)

This is the type of thinking we have in the Approach Anxiety Program and is why I ask guys to forget about the idea of taking girls home if you are a rookie.

Too many guys that have approach anxiety are measuring their results by how much they get laid.

Their goal gets shifted from BEATING APPROACH ANXIETY to GETTING LAID, which is MUCH HARDER to do as a rookie.

They focus on how they aren't GETTING LAID and begin to ignore the legitimate strides they have made to conquer their social anxiety.

Eventually, the lack of results discourages them and they quit.
(usually to return 4-6 months later with the same agenda and mindset)

If this is you (or if any of your self-improvement pursuits have gone this way) it is time to accept your redshirt and focus on simply "getting better" on a daily basis instead of "getting results" on a daily basis.

Progress and results are not the same thing.

Progress happens on a daily basis, results take longer.

Results are a culmination of daily progress.

The results will come, obviously - as you get better on a daily basis.

Very few Very few "True" Freshman even see the field in college football. Brian Cushing (#10) earned a starting role for USC as a Freshman.

"Getting Your Life Handled"

One popular self-improvement concept/marketing is "Getting Your Life Handled".

While that is a nice long-term vision, far too many people make it their short-term (one year) goal.

Wherever you are socially/with women is a result of 18-20+ years of action (or non-action), decisions and social conditioning.

To think you can reverse all of it in 365 days is ludicrous.

In 2008, I moved to Los Angeles with the goal of "Getting My Social/Sex Life Handled".

I was part of a program where we tried to pick up girls on a regular basis. When the year ended and I had been with 12 decent looking girls (the vast majority in the final 3 months) - I was discouraged.

I thought the program was going to be an ENDING and my life would be "handled".

It turned out that year was nothing but a BEGINNING.

Once I put things in perspective - I felt way better about things.

If I had the option - I'd redshirt almost every one of you guys.

I'd require you to hit the gym and get down to a muscular but athletic 8-10% bodyfat and concurrently do the Approach Anxiety Program until you proved to yourself that you could approach women without much anxiety.

Then you could move onto 'Basic Guy Game' (compliment, introduce yourself, small talk, ask for number, repeat until you have 3-4 fuckbuddies) which is easier than the later parts of the Approach Anxiety Program.

After a year in total - you'd almost be certain to achieve good results as a Sophomore (in your 2nd year).

Better results than if you anxiously and mindlessly approached women for a year without any structure only to quit-resurface-quit on a monthly basis - always coming back with the same gameplan.

In your first few months, unless you ACTUALLY feel cooler than the girls you are hitting on - don't even consider "screening" - it takes a lot more than that to understand to internalize it and actually believe it.

But that's what your redshirt year is for- progress, not results.

Maybe you'll get some good results - but that shouldn't be your focus until you actually know what you're doing.