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While people are still fake-reeling from losing an hour to that bullsh*t-a*s Daylight Saving Time, I’m excited. Why? Because these longer days and rising temperatures mean drafting season is upon us.

Drafting season,” you say? Yes, I do.

See, lots of emphasis is put on cuffing season, which is fair. Cuffing season is the final countdown, with the objective of getting cuffed. But not enough conversation is being had about drafting season aka bae hunting season aka spring training. This is a time both guys and gals need to take more seriously, because cuffing season is truly nothing without the pre-show. Put it this way: Do the pro athletes who are really about that life skip preseason or take their game less seriously as they head into the regular season? I think not.

I’m particularly excited for drafting season ’18 because I’m actually putting myself in the game. I’ve been a bit passive in seasons past. I’ll admit that confidence has been an issue at times, but the bigger issue is I’m a little lazy and the chase has always seemed to be more work than reward for me. But there comes a time in a man’s life—usually around the late twenties—where he starts to reevaluate his life choices (especially when it comes to the ladies). And my conclusion is that riding the bench has officially gotten real old.

See, lots of emphasis is put on cuffing season, which is fair. Cuffing season is the final countdown, with the objective of getting cuffed. But not enough conversation is being had about drafting season aka bae hunting season aka spring training.

So, I’m all in for the 2018 season, but not without proper preparation, of course. As the adage goes, if you fail to plan, itll be you and your hand, and nobody wants that. Now, before we get into our prep, I think it’s equally important to have a clear idea of what you want.

What am I looking for? An intelligent, caring young lady who’s looking to build. Ain’t nobody rushing into anything—starting off casual is just my speed—but I’m playing the long game. ’Cause I’m almost out of twenties, and I’m trying to head into these thirties with the right co-pilot. She’s gotta be fun to be around, level-headed, easy on the eyes, and most importantly, goal-oriented and driven (bonus points if she f*cks with Hot Cheese Popcorn and can roll a mean J).

Now, I’ve based my plan around the idea that you have to present the best package possible to be a real factor in the draft. See, the drafts we’re used to seeing in professional sports are usually one-way—players prepare their whole lives in hopes of being selected by these multi-million dollar franchises. But that’s only half true in the bae draft. While most guys are only worried about doing the drafting, I’m thinking about drafting and being drafted (because who doesn’t like options?). So it’s important to make sure that you’re on point. Here are a few ways I’m prepping.

Working on My Fitness.

Health is wealth. Part of being an elite, eligible bachelor is showing your physical fitness. Preseason is survival of the fittest, and you don’t want to be the one cut because of a gut. Top shelf ladies want to know that you take care of yourself. Now, I’m not suggesting anyone shoot for sub-10 percent body fat, or muscles so big your clothes always look smedium. That’s absurd. But you gotta come correct. Besides, you’re gonna need the endurance for those cold, winter nights ahead deep into cuffing season.

Reading Books.

I know. Not the most expected idea, but hear me out. A huge part of the dating process is conversation and, inevitably, a true bada*s (body, brain, goals) is gonna hit you with, “What are you reading?” Understand this is a test. Plan to pass it. You can score a 65 just by reading something simple that’s trendy, or that you really like. But you’ll ace that bad boy if you’re up on something that will upgrade your life or perspective. The topics can range from self-help to history to money. The last book I finished was The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and it not only gave me some talking points, but it changed my perspective in ways I didn’t think possible. So if you want to have more than yourself to talk about, find yourself a bomb book and handle it. The ladies will love it and you’ll be a better man.

Whippin’ Work in the Kitchen.

Here’s the thing, fellas. It’s 2018. Nobody should have to putt up with your lack of culinary skills. There’s simply no excuse. Most of the women I’m checking for have careers, which means they grind hard, make bank, and will show some real appreciation to a brother who can whip up a meal some nights. There are a bunch of cooking shows on TV and way too many videos on YouTube for you to not know how to cook. Learn how to make some mother sauces or a good steak, and how to actually hold a chef’s knife, because knife skills are sexy (grip the blade, not just the handle). Oh, and definitely learn how to sauté—the flick of the wrist is undeniable.

Cut the Games.

We’re all adults, right? Can’t we all agree that nobody has time for games? Seriously, cut it out. Don’t be that guy wasting shorty’s time if your intentions aren’t aligned. Think about what you want this year before you start really putting yourself out there. There’s a situation for everyone.

Most importantly, whatever you do, stay focused. You don’t want to get left behind when cuffing season rolls around, do you?

Malcolm Spaulding is a freelancer for CASSIUS.