What Does Redshirt Mean | Captivating Your 4 Years of Opportunity

What does redshirt mean comes up a lot in the World of Sports. A redshirt, while some associate it with being a negative thing, can be an incredibly productive event that can happen to an athlete.

We’ll cover what does redshirt mean, and some great benefits that result from it in this article.

For starters, a redshirt is simply electing to not play for a year in your given sport. This is most commonly seen as new college athletes show up to school and may not be as strong as the Juniors and seniors.

What does redshirt mean in detail

As covered above, being a redshirt means withdrawing your competitive play against other schools that year.  

Some redshirts are full scholarship players that just need a year to develop. 

Red shirts ONLY last for one year and cannot be used again. However, there is one other red shirt, a medical Redshirt which pertains to an athlete that got injured and physically would not be able to play for a majority of the season. 

They forfeit their playing time so they can get their playing time in full, next season.

Again, while many athletes may be upset for getting redshirted, it is proving to be extremely productive for the athletic program. 

For example, let’s say you have an athlete that shows up to play a position that is filled by a very successful senior. Redshirting allows the athlete below to develop their strength and skills for a year before their eligibility clock starts.

Benefits of being a red shirt

 Some of the most productive parts of being redshirted include:

  • Getting stronger
  • Mastering the technique
  • Developing good habits
  • Getting your grades together early

Personally, I’ve seen some athletes put on 20 lb of strength during their year of being redshirted. What does redshirt mean to them? Apparently a ton, and it should be that way! 

They made this possible because they took it serious and did everything they could to develop themselves physically and mentally for the next four seasons ahead. 

On the flip side, many redshirted athletes take this as a vacation. They don’t understand what does redshirt mean in terms of their long term success.

They let themselves go and put themselves in the position to barely play, or never play it all.

Another benefit of being redshirted includes allowing your abilities and skill sets to increase. In essence, you don’t have to go to any of the games that are away because the bus is only have a specific amount of people that can go. 

Therefore, all those weekends where the team is gone, take that as an opportunity to hone in on your craft and develop yourself and master your craft. 

During this time, learn and develop good habits such as making your bed, reading books, make time for studying, eating good healthy nutrition results in many benefits for the athlete over the next year. 

Compare this with the athlete that doesn’t do anything during the year and just parties, imagine who will get all the playing time.

 what does redshirt mean for an athlete

What does redshirt mean in terms of learning?

what does redshirt mean for an athlete really boils down 2 some basic situations: you can either grow from it, and have long-term benefits. Or you can complain and make excuses as to why you’re not on the team, and risk never being able to touch the field do to your excuses. 

Own up, be responsible, and earn your spot on the team. 

A lot of kids that are high school assume that since there was a superstar in high school that college is going to be easy and they’re going to walk right in there and earn the first ring spot. 80% of the time, that’s not true. 

I’ve seen athletes who were five star athletes get to college and never touch the field because they let their ego get the best of them. Meanwhile the so-called one star athlete scores all the points for the team because they took their Redshirt year extremely seriously.

How to approach a red shirt

Take it seriously,This is a great opportunity to improve yourself for next season. Please do the best you can to do the best you can. 

Learn from your mistakes, always find ways to improve yourself by evaluating what worked and what didn’t. 

Imagine the road to success as a staircase. every lesson you learn and time spent making decisions in the right direction, you take a step up the stairs.

After enough failures, and lessons learned, you reach the top of the staircase. From there it’s up to you to determine your next destination, please never stop growing.

Life is a never-ending journey full of ups and downs, but by learning to take the situation and see it as an opportunity to succeed, the better off you’ll be.

What does redshirt mean? Success as a team.


Hopefully we answered the age old question of “what does redshirt mean.”

Simply put, do the right thing, not what’s easy.

Put in the little extra efforts every day in every way you can. Imagine each day is a 1% opportunity to get better. And one full year you will have been 365% better than you were a year ago.

 See your problems only as situations awaiting a solution.

 Don’t make excuses, take full responsibility and own up to it.

Develop good habits. Who do you aspire to be in 10 to 15 years of your life? Take action everyday that you believe your ideal person would take.

Be as strong, fast, and smart as you can. 

Be intense with your workouts.

After your Redshirt year, the next four years are going to be much different since you’re actually in the game now. Take full advantage of this opportunity you have. 

If you enjoyed reading this, please share this on social media so we can continue to spread the message to other athletes trying to improve themselves. We’ll do everything we can on our part, but with your help, we can continue to grow and expand this channel to new heights! 

Thanks for reading and as always, stay amazing!

  • Eric 

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