It is helpful to begin learning the basics early if you want to master them as with any field of study.  There may be areas that they avoided in earlier education which they will realize they need to become familiar with for someone who has decided that they want to study physics. Physics is a discipline and, as such, it's a matter of training your mind to be prepared for the challenges it will present. Here is some mental training that students will need to successfully study physics, or any science ... and most of them are good skills to haveregardless of what field you're going into. It is absolutely essential that a physicist be proficient with mathematics. You do have to be comfortable with mathematical concepts and how to apply them but you don't have to know everything - that's impossible. You should take as much high school and college mathematics as you can reasonably fit into your schedule to study physics. Especially, take the entire run of algebra, geometry/trigonometry, and calculus courses available, including Advanced Placement courses if you qualify.  Perhaps you will want to pursue other educational options in case you find that you dislike mathematics and physics is very math intensive.

Skills to study physics

It is helpful for the prospective physics student to have a more general knowledge of how to tackle a problem and apply logical reasoning to arrive at a solution in addition to mathematics (which is a form of problem-solving). Study other fields of science, such as biology and chemistry (which is closely related to physics). Again, take advanced placement courses if you qualify.  As you will have to come up with a method of answering a scientific question, participating in science fairs is recommended. You can learn problem-solving in non-science contexts in a broader sense. Read voraciously, on all topics (including, of course, science). Do logic puzzles. Join the debate team. Play chess or video games with a strong problem-solving element. Anything that you can do to train your mind to organize data, look for patterns, and apply information to complex situations will be valuable in laying the foundation for physical thinking that you will require. Physicists use technological tools, especially computers, to perform their measurements and analysis of scientific data. You need to be comfortable with computers and different forms of technology to as such. You should be able to plug in a computer and its various components, as well as know how to maneuver through a computer folder structure to find files at the very last. Basic familiarity with computer programming is helpful. Although if you learn how to use one you can generally transition to a new one fairly easily, Microsoft Excel is the most common spreadsheet program. Figure out how to use formulas in spreadsheets to take sums, averages, and perform other calculations.  Learning how machines operate also helps provide some intuition into work that will come up in fields such as electronics.